I HAVE MOVED...

I have moved to a new blog: Nikki's Thoughts On

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Posting on this blog may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click on a link and purchase something. See our full disclosure policy for more details.

February 24, 2010

Body of Christ like Toast?

I just overheard 8 year old Superstar tell Web-princess.
I guess toast is like the body of Christ! Once it's the body of Christ it can never go back to being bread, it's always going to be the body of Christ. Just like toast is always going to be toast. It can never be plain bread again!

Debt: Cutting 12th Grade

Yesterday we went to IHOP for FREE pancakes. It was a special that IHOP had yesterday and they were yummy! We met up with another homeschool family. After our free pancakes we decided to take the kids to BK (burger king) to play in the indoor play structure. We both got a coffee while at BK.

We sat and enjoyed our coffee as the kids play. In all honestly we were killing time before our co-op started. Our co-op started at 10 and it was 8:30 in the morning. So we had some time to kill. Yes we were at IHOP very early, but that was because we were afraid if we came later the wait would have been too long and we would have been late for our co-op.

We and another lady with her young child were the only people in the BK play area. Toward the end of our visit the other lady started to talk to us and ask if we heard the news about IL and UT wanting to cut the 12th grade because of the state debt.

We said no. She didn't have any real specifics to share with us other then she "heard" it on the news and that she "heard" that IL was looking to pass the bill later this month. She said that "they" wanted to get rid of the 12th grade to help balance the budget. Well anyone that is somewhat aware of Illinois politics and Illinois debt should not be surprise.

I did some Google searching yesterday when I came home. I could not find anything regarding IL, but found that in UT there is senator proposing that 12th grade be cut. Actually that was his original proposal but it wasn't getting the support he needed for it so he is now proposing that 12 grade be totally optional and that if a 11th grader has the credits they should be allow to graduate.

Many argue that in UT there is already that option, so I guess the senator is saying he would like to see more of a push to encourage the kids to graduate by the 11th grade. I could NOT find anything about IL wanting to do the same thing.

I know that Illinois budget is a mess, the state has no money, and things aren't going to improve any time soon. I know that state parks have been closed and that the state of IL owes each school district MILLIONS of dollars! The schools know they aren't going to see this money so they are making serious cuts. 

We have several local school districts here and I know the state owes the one local school district alone 12 million dollars! So it wouldn't surprise if the state of IL is really looking to cut its education expense by either getting rid of the 12th grade or HIGHLY, HIGHLY encouraging high schoolers to graduate early!

I don't know if cutting 12th grade is the answer to the debt, but I find it interesting that there are law makers that feel it is. What about head start programs? What about funding day (child) cares? I understand the need to make cuts and believe me I know the value of those programs, but I'm thinking that if cuts have to be made perhaps those early education programs should be the first to go?  Just a thought......

February 21, 2010

Book Rescue: Low Cost Text Books for Homeschoolers

 
Do you live in Northern IL? Do you live near Glen Ellyn, IL? If so then you might want to check out Book Rescue! Book Rescue collects text books from various sources and then turns around and give them or sells them to others for a low fee. School teachers get the books for FREE! However for Homeshoolers there is a small fee. Please see SCARE's Website for details on the fees for homeschoolers.  

What kind of selection is there? I don't know for sure because I have never been there. However seeing this local ABC station's news report I want to go check it out! I'm willing to pay the small yearly fee and text book fee! It seems it would be possible for me to get books for the kids for $50 per year. Assuming that I would be able to truly get all the text books I would need there. 

From the video it looks like a homeschooler's paradise!

Don't get me wrong I love using what I'm using, but I also like to save money. Even if I don't buy anything I would like to go and at least check it out in person!

February 18, 2010

I take better X-rays then Superstar

Web-princess was all proud of herself at the walk-in, immediate care, clinic last night because they didn't have to redo any of HER x-rays. Superstar when he had x-rays done of the summer needed to have some of them redone. Of course they at the clinic don't know us and so it heighten their curiosity of what was going on. Why did superstar have to be x-rayed? etc.

Sometimes I HATE going to walk-ins because they seem to automatically assume the worst of you. The line of questioning isn't exactly the same as what you would get from your primary doctor.  Last night made me a little more on edge because of Web-princess going on and on how she takes better x-rays then superstar. That and the nurse when it came to x-rays told me well you can just stay here in the examine room. While we go to x-ray. I must gave given her a look, because then she said "well you can't be in the room". I then reply I'm fully aware of that, but I will walk down the hall with her and I will wait outside the room until she is done.  I wanted to know what made her think I was just to let my 7 year old walk down to x-ray by herself.

I'm not totally sure what happen with Web-princess all I know is that she has a severe sprain and has to keep the air cast, boot thing, they put on her until it's better. I have to call our doctor today and schedule a follow up.

She can take it off for sleeping and bathing and is able to walk around on it with the boot on. Last night she sleep out on the couch because that's what Superstar did the first few days that he had "his cast". We are not having school today because that what happen when Superstar came home with "his cast".

Yes I know that this is not the same type of cast that Superstar had. Yes I know that she could have slept fine in her room and doesn't need the extra pampering right now, however in her mind she does and I really don't care.
 

How did she sprain it? I don't know. She said she tripped over her scooter here at home BEFORE we left for the play world and it started to hurt then. I  didn't notice any funny walking from her until towards the END of our play world visit and even then she was still playing. So really I didn't pay that close attention to it.

Then we met daddy for dinner and she was still walking funny into the restaurant and walking funny leaving the restaurant. However she sat and ate and never complain or mention anything over dinner. When we got home DH wanted me to look at it. I did, but didn't see anything wrong with it. So I suggested to her that she go ahead and take a bath and perhaps after the bath she'll feel better.

Web-princess gets out of the bath and is still walking funny and saying it hurts to walk so DH takes a look at it. It was swollen pretty bad. She had a huge ball like knot on the side of her ankle. Seeing that DH calls for me and ask "How can you say she's fine, Look at that?"  It was a Lucy you got a lot of explaining to do type moment. :) I looked at it again and can see that  it's swollen. I tell DH that  "I didn't see that before."

I really don't think I could have missed that but said maybe I didn't look close enough. There was no discoloration. Later last night after everything I talked to my mom and she said it's possible that the knot wasn't there before her bath and that the bath actually brought it out.

So after seeing that knot and consulting my medical manual, I told DH she has to see a doctor tonight. So I packed her up, took her to the walk-in, and as I said in the beginning they diagnosed her with a severe sprain. The x-rays showed nothing was broken, but they still have to send it to radiology to be sure. So I'll get a phone call from them in a day or 2.

Such Is Life Here!! I see a little irony in it all seeing yesterday was Ash Wednesday. However I'm sure that's just me. 

February 14, 2010

PRINTING! UGH! The cost!

One of the down falls to homeschooling is the PRINTING! Our Lexmark printer sucks, literally! The ink cartages for it cost $50 (This is 1 black and 1 color cartage). That yielded us about 300 pages. If we were lucky!

I tried really hard NOT to print things because of the cost. When we switch to Ubuntu for our operating system we found the printer to even be more problematic. It's really NOT compatible with Ubuntu. So we we have been in the market for a new printer. We knew that no matter what we would get an HP printer, because they work the best with Linux.

We figured that we would just get a laser printer because DH knows that toner would give us better yields then ink. We didn't want flush more money down the drain on expensive ink replacements. We ran out to Best Buy and started looking at the HP options there.  It just so happen that an HP rep was in the store! This for us was luck because we were in the market for an HP product!

Best Buy had one HP laser printer on sale for $99 (reg. price $200). I told DH well that seem like a good deal. We knew that it was just black and that we really could not afford the color laser printers.  Not only that but there was no way we could afford a color all-in-one laser printer. (Our current model is an all in one and I love being able to copy things as needed).

DH grabbed the toner cartgage for the laser printer it was $80. Knowing that the toner was nearly the price of the printer made me ask DH "How many pages can I print before I run out of ink?"

He said you mean toner and started to look on the box. He then said we have to go to HP website to learn the yield, because that is what the box said.  I told him to find a sales associate and see if they will find out for you. He found the sales associate and learn from them that there was an HP rep in the store and the rep would be able to answer all of our questions.

The rep shortly learned that we actually didn't own a HP printer and that we were in the market for one. DH explained to him that we homeschooled and that I needed a printer that was NOT an ink hog because of the amount of ink we go through.  We told him what we had at home and what ink cartages it took and he knew how it sucks!! $50 per 300 sheets is a lot of money!!

We explained to him how it's an all and one and that we figure we would keep it and use it as a copier as needed. 80% of my needs come out of printing but I do make copies some what regularly.  He then directed us to the HP Pro 8500. It IS a inkjet printer, but it's cartages rock. The black cartages alone yields 2200 sheet of paper. That already is 7x better then our current print and very comparable to the $99 laser printer. The laser printer toner yields 1800 pages.  The HP Pro 8500 is an all-in-one and does color. It's cost today was $280 (reg. $400).

I listen to him share what the ink yield was on the 8500 and some of the other bells and whistles like how I can scan a piece of paper and email it straight from the printer. Or if I scan items it will automatically file it. So lets say I scanned a art project that web-princess made it would automatically file it in "web-princess folder" straight from the printer.  Bells and whistles that we didn't really need.

I then turn my head to another HP inkjet printer. It was an all in one printer that was $200. He said you don't want that printer. I said what do you mean? He said I'll be right back went around the corner, grabbed some ink cartages, and came back. He showed me  how the ink cartages were for the model I was looking at and then showed me the yield on those cartages: 500 pages. Then took me around the add pointed out the price of various models (including non HP products), the cartages for those models, and what the yield on those cartages.

So in other words that $200 HP inkjet printer was only going to give me 500 pages for  $35 a black cartage where the HP Pro 8500 was going to give me 2200 pages for $35 a black cartage.

500 would be better then what we have now but not that much better. The HP rep said that's the problem SOMETIMES with cheaper models. The models are cheaper but the ink often cost just as much or if not more then the printer.

He said I would either go with the $99 laser printer that we were looking at when we first came into the store, or this HP Pro 8500. Either one of them are going to give a x7 better printing capabilities per (black) cartage then what we get now.

He also then picked up a coupon that was sitting on the shelf and said that this coupon is good for the 8500 model. It was $50 instant savings. All we had to do is give them our old printer as a trade in with the coupon and get $50 off the sticker price. So now this $400 is going to cost $230. That $230 also included ink to start with.

So now we had to decided do we spend $230 on the HP Pro 8500 or $180 on the HP laser printer and toner. (The laser printer did not come with toner).  Was the HP Pro 8500 worth the extra $50 today?

Well lets see besides the fact that the HP Pro 8500 is an all and one (print, scan, copy, fax) and has color printing its cartages were cheaper. Black at $35 gave us 2200 sheets and the color cartages would give us 1700 sheets for $26 a piece. Not only that but each color, yellow, magenta, and cyan was it's OWN cartage. So we could only have to buy the color we need when we needed it. 

Yes if we needed ALL 4 cartages at the same time it would be about $20 more then just the BLACK laser toner replacement. However I doubt that we would need all 4 at once and DH said that fact that each color is it's own cartage will mean that over time it would save us money because you aren't always going to need to replace all the colors.

So we went ahead and got the HP Pro 8500 for $280 today (It will be $230 as soon as I give them my old printer)! Although we do NOT have it today! The model was NOT in stock so we have to wait for it to be delivered to the store for pick up. We did a store pick up because I have to go back with our old printer. We didn't have it with us today in the store either.

It made sense to do the store pick up. I'll go pick up the new printer and drop of the old on the same day. When I give them my old printer I will have $50 instantly credited to our account making our final price for the printer (and ink to start with) $230.

I'm EXCITED! I NOW feel like I can AFFORD to print! Not only that but there have been materials that I have been considering using for our curriculum. They are free materials I just have to print them off, but didn't do that because our printer sucked! Now with a printer that give me 2200 pages per $35 I will be able to print materials off vs. buying them.

Science: Burning Paper With a Magnifying Glass

Seeing it's a beautiful sunny day today I took advantage of it and went ahead and did one of our science activities for this week. We are using Behold and See 3 for science. Our chapter is about the sun, moon and the stars. Our activities have to do with the sun, moon, and stars. On page 73 it actually suggest this activity to learn about how "hot the sun is". This is something that NEEDS to be done with parental supervision.

I have a 4x Magnifying Glass. We took it outside and focused the sun's rays onto a piece of paper to make it burn. Very much like in this video below.
We at first had a hard time with this we couldn't get things to burn. I just had some plan white computer/printer paper. I thought perhaps that we were moving around to much and not keeping still. So I brought the paper in and put a small x on it with a pencil. Took it outside focus the sun rays and within seconds the paper was smoking and we had a hole burned into it.

We then tried on a different spot and could not get it to burn. So we came back in and wrote some more xs and other things on the paper with the pencil. Everywhere that we wrote, with pencil, went up in smoke and had a hole in it within seconds. We know that lead has something to do with that but we are not sure what it is exactly.  We don't understand why we couldn't get it to burn without the lead.

Perhaps it's because it's the middle of winter here? The weather is in the 20's and there is snow on the ground.  Perhaps it's because we are using a 4x magnifying glass? It might not really be strong enough to burn the paper? Perhaps these factors are making it difficult for the paper itself to burn. However it burns within seconds anywhere there is lead. Perhaps the leads burning point is lower?? Or the lead is acting as an accelerator? Don't really know for sure, but he had fun burning the paper.

Later this week we will actually have a discussion on this and will be able to say remember Sunday on how we did that. If it's a sunny day when I plan on having the actual discussion we will go out and burn more paper. I just wanted to do it today in case it end up being a cloudy day later this week.



Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click on a link and purchase something. See our full disclosure policy for more details.

February 11, 2010

Mulitpling by 5s

I work with the kids. I give them math problems, I go over the short explanation on how to do it (if needed), and send them on their way. If they NEED help I will help them. However for the most part I leave them to do it on their own, especially Superstar!

Superstar has been working on multiplication this is the typical course work for "3rd graders". We have just finished his multiplication chapters and the next chapters covers things like Geometry (solid and plane figures, triangles, lines, rays, angles, and congruent figures) and Graphing (making and using bar and line graphs).  Once the the Geometry and Graphing Chapters are done we will start working with Division, followed by Fractions and Decimals.

Seeing we are taking a break from the multiplication and it's going to be awhile before we start the dividing I thought I would take advantage of this time and help Superstar memorize his multiplication facts. We will do the book work followed by going over the multiplication flash cards.

We used the flash cards yesterday and he actually knows them pretty well. Some of them he takes longer then I would like to see, but I know with practice he'll know them better and will not need so much time to come to the answer.

We discuss which ones he knows really well and which one he still struggles on. He then shared with me that 5s are easy because of "his method". I asked him to explain his method.
Well it's simple if the number is even you just 1/2 it and times it by 10
  • 16 x 5 = 8 x 10
  • 24 x 5 = 12 x 10
  • 112 x 5 = 56 x 10
  • 6 x 5 = 3 x 10
If the number is odd then you take away 1, 1/2 the rest, times it by 10, then add 5 for the one you took away
  • 17 x 5 = (8 x 10) +5
  • 25 x 5 = (12 x 10) +5
  • 221 x 5 = (110 x 10) +5
  • 3 x 5 = (2 x 10) +5
This method works for ANY (whole) number times 5. We tried it on several numbers. I gave him all kinds of numbers odd and even and asked him to use his method to test it. He was able to give me the answer to any number multiplied by 5 using this method.

I was simply FLOORED that he came up with this on HIS OWN!!! I did NOT teach him this and it is NOT in his book. I didn't know what to think, other then he must just have the brain for math and no wonder it comes easy to him and I don't have to explain much to him. Web-princess on the other hand is a different story. Most of the time I just give Superstar his book and he goes to town. I often do not need to instruct him on what to do.

That's one reason I'm happy I'm homeschooling him because I know he doesn't have to sit through long boring instructions on how to do math problems. He can just get to work on them without me holding him back with long boring instructions. If he doesn't know something or gets stuck I'm here and I DO help him. However if he can look at the book and know what to do then that's fine with me. (Besides it allows me to sit with Web-princess more, without feeling guilty, because she need more help.)

I'm sure that Superstar really didn't come up with this method for the first time, I'm sure there are math wizards out there that know what this method is called.

I'm just amazed that my 8 year old discovered it on his own, without it being taught by me or the book. It's interesting to see how his brain is processing math.

February 10, 2010

Earthquakes In Illinios?

When people think of earthquakes they think of California  however here in the midwest we have them too! This morning we had a earthquake here, or I should say near here. I know many of my neighbors have said they felt it this morning, but we did NOT! Perhaps if we were awake and not sleeping we would have noticed some shaking.

So for our pen-pals the Dudiches Yes, the earthquake was every close to our home, Yes people around us did feel something, but we did NOT feel it. You know our home address so you can see how close we are to the cities and areas that did report to have felt the quake this morning.


The star on the map above is ground zero and the shade squares are the areas that people felt the quake and how severe of a quake it was. I know that as far as intensity this is nothing compare to the quakes out in California but here in Illinois this is a BIG deal! It is all the rage at the office water coolers this morning, Did you feel it? Did it wake you up? What did it feel like? Is there any damage at your house? Check Out USGS site to learn more about the history of Earthquakes in Illinios .

Just another day in Illinois! Tornadoes, Blizzards,  and Earthquakes! 
OH MY!!

Review: Jumpstart

JumpStart CJ Banner
Title: JumpStart

Creator: JumpStart.com

Short Description: JumpStart is an award-winning adventure-based 3D virtual world that is super-personalized, wildly imaginative and really fun, but don't let that fool you - it also teaches math, reading, and critical thinking skills so kids get a real jump start in life.

Review: With the JumpStart program there are two different account options FREE and PAID (membership). For the sake of this review I was given a free membership by JumpStart. Having the membership allows us to access ALL of the gaming features. With the Membership there is actually access to 5 different games. 1 online game and 4 different (CD) games that you download directly unto your computer.

The downloaded games:
Preschool: My First Adventure
Kindergarten: Legend of Grizzly McGuffin
First Grade: Trouble in Town
Second Grade: Quest for the Color Meister

For the sake of this review I only downloaded Quest for the Color Meister. This is because my kids are 7 and 8 and that seemed to be the most appropriate game for them. If I wanted to I could have download all of the games.

With the free version you are given limited access to what worlds you can access within the online game. The membership allows you to have unlimited access to ALL of the online words including Future Land which is designed for kids ages 8-10. Please refer to the Free vs Membership Chart for more details.

For those FACEBOOK people you can even link JumpStart to your Facebook account which according to JumpStart's website will allow you to see what your children are up too and allow you to link to your facebook friends and their kids so that you all can play and compete against each other. (I do not have a facebook account and will not get one  just to test this.)

We LOVE this program! We LOVE both the download game and the online game. Web-princess and Superstar every day ask "Momma can we play JumpStart!?!"  I happily let them because of the "educational" value of the games, especially the downloaded game. This is one fun way to help supplement my children's education. 

Thank-You JumpStart for allowing us the opportunity to play and do this review. I'm really thankful to have this program now because it gives my kids a fun way to reinforce their phonics, math, and reading skills. Not only that but they keep coming back for more and more because they LOVE it!

They love the games and being able to have pets. Web-princess's favorite pet is the brain. It's a little blue brain that follows her where ever she goes. Superstar loves doing the car races. In the car race game he matches up words with the letter sounds he's looking for. The only thing they disliked was that at times the game froze up on them. (This only happen a handful of times and was an easy fix.)

The game freeze has NOT stop them from wanting to play! They still come back for more and more. They just understand that sometimes glitches like that happens, especially when it's an online base game. We have similar issues with other online games.

The online world also has theme based games within the game. These themed games are based on the current seasons/holidays. Currently to celebrate Valentine's Day our kids can collect hidden candy hearts as part of the Valentine's Scavenger Hunt. The kids have enjoyed this and are delighted when they find a new heart. They also enjoy seeing other people online and interacting with them. In a safe way I might add.

On the parental end of things: I like that fact that I could, on the downloaded game, review what games my kids were playing, what skills they worked on, and how well they master those skills. I also like the fact that the online world is a safe environment for them to able to interact with other people.

Despite the game freezing up the program has 6 thumbs way up in this house. 2 thumbs from Superstar, 2 thumbs from Web-princess, and 2 thumbs from Mommy!!! If you are looking for a safe fun games for your kids to do online then JumpStart is the way to go.

Disclosure: I was given a FREE 1 year membership to JumpStart by JumpStart.com  in order to write my honest opinion of this product for this review.

The Budget Cuts

 
Tip Of The Hat: Why Homeschooling

February 9, 2010

Friday-meatless-Penance

This was originally written 2/27/09. However I thought it was fitting to re-post it because:
  1. I have many new followers now, many of them Catholic-Christians like myself
  2. It's almost Lent!
The Original Post IS Below:

On what Fridays throughout the year are we suppose to do penance? I'll give you a hint by giving you an example of a penance that is done on Fridays: abstaining from meat. So on what Fridays throughout the year are we suppose to do penance?

If you answered EVERY Friday then you are correct!!! Congratulations for knowing the this bit of Canon Law and knowing about your Catholic Faith! Here is that bit of Canon Law strait from the Vatican's Web-Site.
Can. 1249 The divine law binds all the Christian faithful to do penance each in his or her own way. In order for all to be united among themselves by some common observance of penance, however, penitential days are prescribed on which the Christian faithful devote themselves in a special way to prayer, perform works of piety and charity, and deny themselves by fulfilling their own obligations more faithfully and especially by observing fast and abstinence, according to the norm of the following canons.
Can. 1250 The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.
Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Can. 1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.
Can. 1253 The conference of bishops can determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence as well as substitute other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety, in whole or in part, for abstinence and fast.
Can 1250 clearly states that EVERY Friday of the WHOLE year are penitential days. So that means EVERY Friday we are do a from of penance. Can 1251 states that the from of penance to be observe is abstinence from meat on ALL Fridays. However according to Can 1253 the conference of bishops can offer their people a substitute such as a work of charity.

Here in the USA a big deal is made out of Lenten Fridays and how it's a "meatless" day. Well ALL Fridays should be "meatless" days UNLESS you do an alternative penance. You see here in the USA we have a choice on NON-Lenten Fridays to an alternative penance. So just because it's NOT Lent doesn't mean we can dive into that big juicy hamburger on that Friday cook-out! Enjoy that burger as long as you fulfilled your penance that day by some kind of alternative penance such as a work of charity.

I've been reading my emails (that is the one thing that I did NOT give up). I've been reading a lot from my fellow Catholics today on how today is a meatless meal, etc and I felt compel to write and share here with ALL of you vs. a reply to only those that have email me today.

I think our Bishops have done us a disservice by making a HUGE deal on how it's Lent and it means ~no meat~. Many don't realize that ALL Fridays, not just Lenten Fridays are days of penance. This is just a result of mis-communication throughout the years. The USA Bishops did NOT do way with penance when they said many years ago that a Catholic MAY enjoy a hamburger on non-Lenten Friday. Being able to eat meat on Non-Lenten Fridays is only HALF the story. The other HALF is that a forms of penance has been widen giving people CHOICES!

In other words a Catholic, here in the USA, has an either-or-and-choice on non-Lenten Fridays. The choices on Non-Lenten Fridays are as follows.
  • abstinence from meat
  • work of charity
  • exercise of piety
  • OR ALL the above
On Lenten Fridays there is NO choice a FULL penance is to be done. There is NO choice ALL of these things are to be done:
  • perform works of piety and charity
  • prayer
  • abstinence from meat
  • and FAST on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday
This is something that we in my house struggle with, because I did NOT grow up with this knowledge and my DH is an convert to Catholicism. However knowing it I think helps us, because we are trying!! This is something I myself just learn within the last year. It is something that has been reinforced by our Diocesan Education Office.

Well I have to go, I just wanted to share this tid-bit about Penance and Fridays. I felt it was important especially seeing this is the first Friday of Lent!!! I have to say this staying off the PC (with the exception emails) has been a little hard then I thought it would be! I just have to try a little harder! I hope that you are doing well with your penances and sacrifices this week and continue to do well ALL of Lent!

Related Posts:
Lenten Pretzels (At the end of the post Judy @ Benmakesten has a lovely suggestion for abstaining from meat during Lent.)

February 8, 2010

It's Monday! And we all of have one of those days!

If you are anything like me then you will enjoy this! Happy Monday!

Tip Of The Hat: Why Homeschool

Movin' On Up??

Why, why, does Superstar do things better then me? I want to be doing what he's doing? I want to be doing the same work? That was what Web-princess was saying to us over the weekend. She wants more work, she wants to work over the summer, she wants in the fall to be doing "everything" that Superstar is doing.

For "school work" the kids do the majority of it "together". It's just really Math, Spelling, Grammar, and Reading that they do separate or out of different level books.  (That perhaps would be more clear if I truly posted lesson plans like I have been wanting to do).

So we had a family discussion about it. Superstar at first did not like it. However the more he talked the more it became clear that he was afraid that she would just copy his work. He didn't want that to happen. If she was going to be doing the same work for everything then he wanted me to be sure that she was doing the work and not just copying him. I assured him that I would be sure she did her own work on things like math.

They are 10 months apart and honestly if their birthdays fell different, if he was a September birthday and she was July baby, then they would have been in the same grade in public school. It just so happen that they were in separate grades because he was a June baby and she was an April baby. So it's not unrealistic for them to be in the same "grade".

I'm willing to give it a shot!  I'm willing to help her see her goal and give her the extra work and work over the summer. They do a lot of together already so it wouldn't require much. Just extra work in Math and Grammar/Spelling.

Math the one subject that has been a headache for us in the pass.  This also is going to mean pushing her to work harder and to overcome her convergance insuffinicy more. More math work is not only to chanellege her math skills, but it's going to be a phyicial chanellege and strain on her eye muscles.

Again I'm willing to give it a try and work WITH her. Worst thing that could happen is that she can't truly handle the course load and if that's the case it's okay! She's not going to be "behind" in anyway. She just didn't make the cut to "skip" a grade.  The joys of homeschooling! I can work with my daughter and help her meet her goals of skipping a grade and doing everything that her big brother is doing!

Oh and as far as Superstar is concern, his ego has not been crushed and he doesn't really care if his sister is in the same "grade" as long as she does her own work. He doesn't want her copying off of him! He told me that's not good for her to just copy off of me or anyone else. She doesn't learn then! Hey NO ONE likes a cheater!

Yesterday we were with some of the extended family members and were telling him about Web-princess' goals and how we were going to work her. They said "Why not just give Superstar the year off?" I said you mean like a "sabbatical".

That got a funny look, so I said isn't that what's it called when you take time off.  (Either I mispronounced the word or they didn't know what it meant. Most likely I mispronounced it)  I doubt that I could allow Superstar to have a sabbatical because of the homeschooling laws, however it was a nice suggestion.

February 6, 2010

Review: Creating New Life, Nurturing Families

Title: Creating New Life, Nurturing Families

Author:  Sidney Callahan

Short Description:  Digging deeply into the various dimensions of women's journeys and discussing love and marriage, sex, mothering, work and transforming joy amidst suffering, Callahan shows how a woman's commitment to the well-being of her husband and children is a participation in the very life of the Trinity.

Review: This book was a hard read for me. It has "feminism" and "feminine" terms in relation to God that I am not familiar with.  Seeing I was unfamiliar with these terms it made reading very difficult. I didn't know how to process this or how to understand it in relation to authentic Catholicism. I had to put the book down and research feminism within the Church.

I found some interesting articles on the Vatican's website regarding "Christ Our Mother". (One of the feminine terms used in the book.) I'm still NOT comfortable with the terminology, but reading the Vatican's site and other writings have helped me to digest the book more and get a better understanding.

Besides the terminology, I actually like the format of the book. The chapters themselves, if you can look pass the terminology, are thought provoking. I like how each chapter ends with food for thought questions.

This book is defiantly NOT for the average reader because of the feminine terminology. This is better suited for someone that has a deeper understanding in theology, Catholic Spirituality, and Mystics such as Julian (Juliana) of Norwich . It's definitely only for one that is STRONG in Faith.

If you're interested in learning more about Creating New Life, Nurturing Families then be sure to check out the Catholic Company. For more reviews about this or other products from other bloggers then please click here.

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of Creating New Life, Nurturing Families by the Catholic Company in order to write my honest opinion of this product for this review.

February 5, 2010

Head Of the Class


Head of the Class provides preschool through eighth grade parents, learners, and teachers with free access to curriculum-based content. Organized by grade-level, you will find instruction, activities, and multimedia on reading, math, spelling, writing, art, history, music, geography, science, Spanish, and more.

I know the short-bio above states grades preschool to 8th, however they only have up to grade 2 posted on the site. It seems from browsing the site over that it is still a work in progress. I don't have an opinion about the site, I just found out about it last night via: The Homeschool Lounge.

I've added it our Homeschooling HELP! Page (check it out!!)

Sorry About The Music

I meant to back date that post so it would be deep in the archive and not show up as a recent post. I've tried to correct it but every time I do blogger gives me and HMTL error and won't let me republish the post with a back date.

Nikki

My Favorite Music


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

February 4, 2010

I AM A NUT! Really I am! NOT!

Peanut, Almond, Acorn, Cashew, and  Walnut are all together and the NUT is asked to stand up! It goes something like this:


Now that we have the visual the Real Spartacus, I MEAN NUT, is Acorn!!! The rest of them ARE NOT nuts, they are simply impostors! Cashews, Almonds, and Walnuts are Drupes and Peanuts are legumes. Hey don't feel bad I was duped by these impostors for a LONG time! Now go spread the word, don't let these importers fools us any longer!

Field Trip: Natural History Museum

Yesterday after a self induce imaginary scared we settled down to have breakfast, do some book work, and chores. We wanted to be done so we could have time with daddy.

We also had plans to go the local Natural History Museum. The kids favorite thing is to see Jane (the focal point of a one hour documentary that was published by the discovery channel and has been seen on discovery's science channel: The Mystery Dinosaur and the subject of the book The Discovery and Mystery of a Dinosaur Named Jane) and examine the progress made on Homer in the lab.

We were not able to go down to the lab due to the construction, but we were able to see Jane and a new dinosaur skull. I forget the name of the dinosaur but the skull looked bird-ish. We are looking forward to what the construction and expansion will bring. We are looking forward to seeing homer completely on display. Right now we have only being able to see his head a few other choice bones.

Then we went up to the 2nd floor and examine the rocks. This is when every thing that Superstar has been learning from his geology class (via our co-op) spilled out. Every time I turn around it was Momma, this Momma that.

We then went up to the 3rd floor where they have a native American display and local wildlife display. We knew when we were visiting Jane there was a school group there. One of the museum educators was doing a presentation on Jane.

Down stairs it was a small group of about 10 kids, but stairs it was a lot larger. They must have broken the group up for smaller tours and using the 3rd floor as the holding ground for the rest of the troops.

The noise level was much higher as we climbed the stairs, kids were running and shouting, teachers were shouting to stop running and to use inside voices. They were lining the them up and trying to get them in order so they could go to lunch. Or at least that's the impression I got because I heard one of the teachers mention going to lunch. Oh the joys!

As we got to the top DH said I'm just going to sit here and you can take the kids around. I said okay, but I want you to visit that area over there with us. He agreed and said when we were ready for that to let him know. The kids and I worked our way around the room and within a short while the noise level was gone. The other kids had moved out. We enjoyed the one area and invited daddy to enjoy the rest with us.

On the way home I said it was the school group that made you want to sit wasn't it? He said yes! I know my husband. He doesn't like large group of kids, period! He doesn't like the noise level, he doesn't like the disrespect he sees, and how the kids treat each other: the pushing and shoving. He especially is angered when he see little boys push and shove little girls.

It doesn't matter that these were public school kids. I've seen homeschool kids at our local co-op push and shove each other. It's just something that happens when you have a large group of kids together. I think it happens more when the child to adult ratio is higher.

Kids take advantage of situations, MINE included. They tend to act out more when they feel they can get way with it more. What better place then in a museum with 20-30 other 8 to 9 year olds and 2 adults? Clearly the adults where out numbered and the kids knew it!  I feel bad for the adults to have such a large child to adult ratio. (about 10-15 kids per adult) Granted I know some of my readers have large families with up to 10 kids, but that's not 10 children the same age.

There are the older ones and the younger ones, and generally you can rely on the older ones to HELP with the younger ones. Not that they are responsible for the younger ones, but a 14 year old most likely isn't going to touch something they aren't suppose. In a way that 14 year old is an other pair of eyes and can say "Mom.....".

I know it's good for the kids to go on field trips, but I think if you are going to have 20-30 some children the same age range then you should have an 5 to 1 ratio. 10 to 1 or even 15 to 1 is just insane when they all are the same YOUNG age!

February 2, 2010

Derailment: Pro-Life March 2010

This is a slight derailment for the normal course of topics here on Catholic Christian Homeschooling, however I thought it was worth sharing!



One young woman's pictures of the 2010 March For Life. I know her pictures say 2006, however that's wrong. I happen to know the family and know that they can't figure out how to get the correct date on the camera. (It happens to the best of us.)

February 1, 2010

Another Sacramental Year!

It is another Sacramental Year for us! Web-princess has been quietly preparing to receive her first Communion at the end of March (The actually date escapes me now but I know it's the LAST Saturday of March).

I say quietly because I haven't blog much about it! I've lately have blogged about Superstar's ITW and his recovery, field trips, and Web-princess's convergence insufficiency issues.

Well last Saturday Web-princess made her first confession. It was a beautiful morning and thing went as planned. Actually we got a very pleasant surprise. Our beloved Msgr. S. was there to help out. Msgr. S. married DH and I and baptized both kids. He got resigned to other duties a few years ago and we haven't been able to see him.

So it was very nice to be able to see and chat with him Saturday. We tried to get Web-princess to go to Msgr. for her first confession, but she had her heart set on Father B. (Which was fine...but you can't blame me for trying to convince her otherwise right? LOL)

After spending the morning at the Church we went coat shopping. We found some really great winter coats for the kids for $7 each. We bought them at a JCPenny Outlet and bought them LARGE in HOPES the kids will grow into them by NEXT winter.

The JCPenny Outlet here happens to be next to a Burlington Coat Factory. DH insisted we try there first. I have never been in there and was pleasantly surprised about what they had (more then coats) and the prices. Some of it was very reasonable. They had these beautiful white dresses for girls. THINK CINDERELLA!

Seeing them reminded me how Web-princess is going to need a dress! I personally would love for her to look like a little Cinderalla! So I was looking at them and the prices. Several of them were only $30. I know that's still A LOT, but these were just gouragous Cinderella Dresses so that was very cheap! They were white and I knew that they would work wonderfully for Web-princess first communion.

I was asking Web-princess what she thought and if she would like to have one. She told me NO! They were too fancy!! While at penny's she pointed out the type of dress she wanted. It honestly is no different then her summer dresses. We did NOT get it because it was a wild floral print. We told her the dress should be white. She said I know that,  I'm just trying to tell you that's  TYPE of dress I want!

In the back of my mind I thought, sure you have the chance to have a fancy Cinderella dress and instead of jumping on it you tell me you rather have a plain Jane! Of course there is nothing wrong with a plain Jane....sigh!
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