Friday, August 28, 2009

Homeschooling: Days 9 - 13 (First Day on Campus)

This week we discussed wants and needs, as well as where they come from to continue our study on the community. I liked Will's answers for where food, water, and clothing come from:

Food: Trees, garden, and the store

Water: A river, a big pond, the fridge

Clothing: A shirt store, needle & thread, and a laundromat

His top three wants were: a dishwasher, electric trains, and balls. Hmmm.... ok. :)

For PE, I started teaching the boys how to play kick ball. I set up bases and we rand around them several times so they learned the direction in which to run. We also practiced kicking a rolling ball. (Will did great, Nathan took to tiny little kicks while running - like soccer, and Witt was just excited to have his foot touch the ball! Too cute!) Then we tried to play a "game", which is not too easy when there are really only two players that have a clue about what's going on! LOL! It was still fun, though!

Speaking of PE, this was also our first week to gather with our church school. (In Alabama, you must either be a certified teacher or belong to a cover school "governed" by a church.)

Here are the K - 3rd grade kids during PE having a great time! Will is on the right hand side in the lime green shirt.

Here we are in History class, where his age group will be learning about the 7 Wonders of the World. (Note that he chose to sit at the table with two girls. :) )

They will also be having an art class. His ALL ABOUT ME poster was due the first day of class. His birthday is September 12th. He is 6 years old right now (the number of candles on the cake). To the left of the cake is a railroad crossing sign. To the right is a hand drawn picture of him skateboarding on a sidewalk. Below the sidewalk is a picture of a train and Wishbone the dog.

Here's everybody settling down getting ready for art class.

Our school days are held at a christian university. We have lunch in the cafeteria and chapel with the university students and professors. It was a really fun, busy day. I look forward to both of us making new friends. :)

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tricycle Race

Does this count as PE? ;)

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009


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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tiny Talk in the Country

Putting kids in a new environment, sure does provoke some great Tiny Talk! Here are some of the things I heard the first week in our new house, just on the outskirts of the country:

Our new yard is huge and filled with beautiful green grass, Nathan (almost 4) stepped outside the first morning and asked, "Where's sandbox?!?" It wasn't even 10 minutes later than Will (almost 7) comes inside and declares, "There's nowhere to dig!" Those poor boys didn't know how to play in the grass! LOL! However, they have since figured out new things to do and get into:

Nathan came to me after playing trains with Will and said, "Need something to watch." I told him to go outside and watch the dump trucks, as I was determined to keep the tv off. He happily obliged and got a really good show as road work was being done and the dump trucks congregated on our street.

Here's a view from the front of our yard. I think I counted 12 dump trucks that day. Those boys were in heaven! LOL!

I also heard this cute little question from Nathan that day, "Papaw ride me on that?"

Another day, Witt informed me that he heard something... "Cow! Cow! Cow!" Sure enough, there was a cow down the road mooing! Loved it!

Witt (27 months) also picked up the phrase, "Right back!" for "I'll be right back" and he's stopped saying "Dun No" (Thank you) and replaced it with, "Danz" (Thanks!) He's the best little Yes ma'am-er you ever heard, too!

Me: Will, do you want a pancake?

Will: YES! I'm banished!!! (famished)

Nathan rubbing his hand on my leg, "What these shaaap dings?" (What are these sharp things?)

Me, laughing: Hair.

Finally, the kicker for the week came from Will. I had made chili one night and asked him the next day if he wanted me to heat it up for him for lunch. Realizing that we don't have a microwave in this new house, he asked, "How do you heat up chili without a microwave?" I told him we'd do it the "old-fashioned" way!

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Monday, August 24, 2009

A Wagon Good Time

Pictures taken from my kitchen window:

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Combining Blogs

Sorry to those of you on a reader who just got bombarded with Homeschooling posts... I've decided to incorporate my homeschooling and gardening blogs here. So yes... my container garden blog will be heading your way eventually, too. :)

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Homeschooling: Days 5 - 8 (If You Give a Fox an Orange)

Highlights from week 2 of homeschooling:

We continued our unit study on the Community. This week's discussion was on Goods and Services. I tried several different ways of explaining the two, but it took Will a little while to grasp the difference until I finally compared it to something he knows... trains! :)

Specifically, Goods Trains!

What goes in goods trains? Goods! Instead of asking the question, "Is such-n-such a good or a service?", I asked, "Can you put such-n-such in a goods train?" Then based on whether his answer was yes or no, he could figure it out! By the end of the day he was easily able to discern between goods and services without the train "middle man". So proud of him! :)

We also read If You Give a Pig a Pancake and then re-read it determining the goods and services throughout the story. He made up his own story based on the same type of "If... then" in the book. After he told me his story, he askedtomake it into a book. Well, certainly!

I grabbed a few pieces of paper, a pronged folder and the three hold punch. He was thrilled to receive it and asked if he could illustrate the cover, too (he wanted to write on the folder). Absolutely! It's yours, buddy!

So without further ado.... here is the first edition, highly exclusive, If You Give a Fox an Orange, written and illustrated by Will, age 6 (almost 7).

If you give a fox an orange,

then he's going to want to make orange juice.

He'll probably ask you to get him an ice cube to go in it.

Then he'll get all sticky and need a bath.

Then he'll ask you for a towel to dry off with.

Then he'll be so thirsty he'll finish drinking his orange juice.

The End.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Moving In

A glimpse into our recent move...

Here's our garage the night before the movers came. We've got stuff boxed up on both sides of the walls and in the center, too. All the furniture was left in the house for the movers to get.

The house we moved into is 300 - 500 sqft smaller than the previous one. There has been much downsizing of stuff and I honestly couldn't be happier about it! :) Our *new* house is actually not new at all. My father-in-law lived in this house, in fact, I think he was born in it. The walls are made of concrete filled cinder blocks. "This house ain't goin' anywhere!" It is located in a "Y" in the road and we've fenced off the entire house giving the boys and dogs a huge, safe yard to play in.

Thankfully, my mother-in-law was persistant about getting movers. It was well worth the money. The movers helped put most of the big furniture together and we were ready to sleep in the new house that same night.

Here's a shot of the master bedroom and study area. We do most of our homeschooling in this little room because of the easy access to the computer and the homeschooling supplies are *safe* from little fingers. :)

Please note that my house is usually spotless and never ever has anything out of place. These pictures show disorganization only because we are in the process of moving in. I'm never disorganized otherwise. (HA!)

The kitchen! I love the windows in the kitchen because I can see the boys playing out in the yard (unless they are on the other side of the house). It's really a huge kitchen when you consider how long ago it was built. I don't know if you can tell or not, but there is no microwave! The one we have doesn't fit under the cabinets or above the range, so I've done without... quite happily I might add. We've been doing things the "old fashioned way" as Will puts it. :)

Witt's room. He's still in a room by himself and still in a crib. I hope to move him to a toddler bed by the end of the year and then in about another 6 months or so have all three boys in one room and use the other one for a play room. There is also a queen size bed in there for the nights he won't sleep alone. (He's had some seperation anxiety since our anniversary trip in June and then topping that off with this move, it's been a little rough on him.)
Will and Nathan are sharing a room with Thomas the train. Oh my word those tracks take up some space! Jeff has plans to make some loft bed frames for them so they can utilize the whole floor. Can't wait!

The living room is small, but it's just enough. We don't watch a lot of tv anyway.
Nana sent some puzzles the first week we moved in. The boys had a BLAST with them! (See the big microwave sitting on the floor in the bottom left hand corner? LOL!)

Laundry room. Now this is where I am a bit sad. Jeff created a REALLY NICE laundry room for me in our previous house. This one is SMALL!!! Not much room for anything beyond the washer and dryer. (And my computer desk chair, obviously. Things were getting put anywhere and everywhere when they unloaded the truck.)

The boys have spent so much time outside. It's amazing how some extra space in the yard will take up the whole day!

A sandbox is on our list of things to do (Have you seen the one at our old house?). In the meantime, Jeff bought the boys a few bags of sand (which didn't take long to get scattered about).

There was plenty to watch, too, as the dumptrucks started to accumulate right outside the fence. Nathan was entertained for quite some time. :)

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Homeschooling: Days 1- 4 (Building a Community)

I am going to try to update at the end of each week some of the highlights of our homeschooling.

Although I've already given a detailed description of our first day of school, here's what else we did this week:


We both got acquainted with the abacus. Learned how to use and handle it properly. We took it slowly this week and only covered quantities 1 - 7. Will learned how to use tally sticks and how to show the quantity 5 by placing the 5th tally stick over the first four. The main focus of this week was to instill the concept that 5 is an easy grouping that makes math easier (ie 7 is 5 and 2 instead of counting from 1 to 7).

Spelling/ Vocabulary

We are doing a unit study on community and his spelling words for the week were: city, home, and map. (I wanted to keep our first week easy.) He wrote each three times and recited the spelling of them each day of the week. There was a "test" on Thursday. He also made a sentence with each spelling word.


Will has a tremendous dislike of practicing handwriting. He can draw all day long, but asking him to do a sheet of writing letters is the worst thing I ask from him. You can see his initial handwriting of the basic patterns of letters on our first day of school post. After that, all I could muster to ask of him was a sheet pertaining to the lowercase "a".


He completed 6 lessons in his phonics book and we read several small readers and began a new Wishbone chapter book which I read aloud.


We began a study of Joseph. We are using a bible time line and a map (both of which are up on our hallway wall). He is really enjoying finding the cities, countries, and bodies of water on the map. The time line isn't that intriguing to him yet, but I love it!

Social Studies / Geography

With our unit on community we created a map of the street we live on. We discussed our new address and the buildings that are on our street. He also figured out which road would take him to Gran's house on our map!

We discussed the many types of buildings that could be in a community as well as the people that worked in the community and why they are important. Then, we created our own 3D make-believe community. Will chose which buildings he wanted (a clock tower, a church building, a train station and ticket station, a bakery, and a fire department). As the community continued to grow, we added a lighthouse, a park, and a zoo. There were both roads, train tracks, and of course, Thomas the tank engine. :)

He played with his community until it was so worn out it had to go in the trash. He loved building and using his community!

After discussing our community, we looked at books that showed other communities and talked about how they were the same as or different from ours, too.

Overall, it was a really good first week. On average, I think each day was broken down into 5 - 6 fifteen minute segments of focused learning time. We had our moments and setbacks, but kept moving along.

So Far... So Good! :)

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Skater Dude

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