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November 29, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like.....

Christmas! No, not really; or at least not in this house. We don't deck the halls until the 3rd or 4th Sunday of Advent. Seeing this pass Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent we won't decorate the house until Dec 11-18th. It however may end up being a bit later then that seeing the kids and I will be going to TX to visit my sister at Ft. Hood.

As many of my long time readers and friends know my sister was station in Iraq and during the course of her deployment her 3 (now 4 year old) son stayed with us part time. My nephew rotated homes on a 2 month rotation for the length of the deployment. 2 months here-2 months at my mom's house. My sister's deployment ended about month early due to an serious hand injury. In short 500lb fell unto her right hand causing serious damage -- damage that will take AT LEAST 1 year (if not more) to recover from.

She's been state side for little over a month now, perhaps 2 months. She was home for several weeks before my nephew was able to be transported down to TX to stay with her. My nephew has been in TX with his mom for about a month now. The kids are excited to be able to see Auntie and Little Man.

They are excited, but at the same time not thrilled with the idea of doing school work while in TX. My sister was not able to get block leave for when I'm going down; so she'll have to "work" Mon-Friday while I'm there. Seeing we will be on base the kids and I can't really do anything without her or my nephew with us; so I told them we'll do some school work while Auntie is working and Little Man is at school.

They aren't thrilled by it, but I had to reminded them that Daddy is taking nearly 2 week off over Christmas/New Years and we'll have NO School during that time. This is a first for us. Hubby has never had so much time off around Christmas/New Years. We have always done school minus the days that Hubby is home (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day; New Years Eve; New Years Day).

If I didn't make them do school while at Auntie's then it would mean they would have the whole month of December off and I couldn't just do that! I know many homeschooler do, but I can't do that. The more days off we have the harder it is for us to get into the grove again. So I really try to limit the number of days off.

Do you take days off during the month of December? Is your house beginning to look like Christmas? Do you celebrate Advent?

November 17, 2011

Who doesn't love a good deal?

Have you heard of nomorerack? I just heard about it this week via facebook.  They basically every day have new deals that are posted (noon est) time that stays live till 11:59 (est) time the next day. Unless they sell out of the deal. Many of the products they offer are 75-90% below retail price.  In addition to that they have what they are calling their INSANE deals.

Nomorerack insane deals show up on the homepage in a purple box and will have things like Kindle for $15. You never know when those deals will show up you would have to be able to visit the site often at various times through out the day to catch an INSANE deal. I haven't been able to catch an insane deal, but have heard about them after the fact.

Besides checking out the site at various times the best way to catch an INSANE deal is to register with the site that way if you happen to visit the site and see an insane deal you want you don't have to waist time registering. Registration is free. You have to register with the site in order to buy anything including the insane deals.  Just thought you would like to know.

November 13, 2011

Yard Work!

Seeing it's fall and we are having warm weather today, warmer then what is normal for this time of year, the kids and hubby did some yard work. It's 65 outside! Hubby let the kids take control of the leaf blower and needless to say they had a little bit to much fun with it this afternoon. I don't think any real 'work' was accomplished.

Their goal was to get the leafs to the backyard near the burn pit. However the leafs really didn't get any where. At first they were just blowing the leafs with the leaf blower....towards the back yard, but seeing there is only one blower and two children they decided to come up with this lovely but not every practical way to work together.

Web-Princess blowing leaves into the wheelbarrow. 

Yep, that's right they decided to blow the leafs into the wheelbarrow. Web-princess was able to get some leafs up into the wheelbarrow.

However after getting a few in she would try to blow more and end up blowing the leafs out of the wheelbarrow. Hubby decided to let them be and after an hour of doing this and getting nowhere they put away all the tools and told hubby they were done for today! HA-HA.

Hubby in his wisdom told the kids that was fine and thanked them for their help.  While the kids were playing working I told hubby that in a few minutes you should have them do the work for real. He said no, I'll just let them be today. Sometimes it's just better to see them have fun then worrying about if it's done "correctly".  We'll get the yard later. Besides I told Superstar I would play some yu-gi-oh with him and he's already been waiting long enough today for that. I rather do that with him then worry about the yard right now.

November 11, 2011

Thank-You Vets

Last Sunday coming home from church Superstar, my son, seen a sign that said "Thank-You Vets". In response to the sign he asked us "On what day do we honor veterinarians?". That made us chuckle. We explained to him that's NOT the type of VET the sign was talking about.  We explained who the vets are and shared with him that Daddy, my husband, is a vet.

In honor of my husband we did not have school work today.  Speaking of my husband my daughter, Web-princess, has a bit of my hubby's humor. Before leaving the house my hubby always tells the DOG to be good, no parties, don't eat the garbage, no girls can be over, etc. Well he does this only if everyone is leaving.

So this week while hubby was at work the kids and I were setting off to leave. My daughter told the DOG to be good, no parties, and no girls can be over especially POODLES!! I had the biggest belly laugh when she said that. I asked her why especially poodles. Her response was that they are especially "dangerous" with their fancy hair cuts, and "poofy" ankles.  I guess they are a temptation that male dog can't resist?

Happy Veteran's Day!

November 2, 2011

Spelling Power

Spelling Power. Have you heard of it? Have you used it? Do you like it? What are your thoughts of the program?  I was able to buy the book used along with the resource CD and quick start DVD. This is our second day of using it and so far so good.

The kids seem to enjoy it. Set up hasn't been to bad. We are still trying to get into the flow of it. I think things will move much smoother then they do now once we are use to the program.

Because of using this program I realized that my daughter doesn't use lower case letter or capital letters in the correct format. For example she'll right things like SEvEnTh. I've, also, noticed that certain letters like B, D, G, E, T are always written in the capital form. She did this before when working with spelling list, but I never really correct that, nor did I really pay attention to how often she did that. Spelling Power wants you to correct those kind of mistakes. So I've been correcting her. Luckily that doesn't bother her much. Hopefully it will stay that way.

We haven't done much "traditional" writing.  I've let my kids over the last few years do writing on the computer, because I wanted to build on their computer skills. However now I'm seeing that perhaps that wasn't the wisest thing seeing their true writing and penmanship skills have suffered.

Do any of you have any suggestions for workbooks and activities to improve writing and penmanship for OLDER children?

September 26, 2011

He really does LOVE her!

My kids being 10 and 9 now! Wow 10 and 9 (Looking back at this blog it's hard to believe seeing when I started this blog and homeschooling they were 7 and 6.)

Anyway Superstar, 10, doesn't always want to admit that he does LOVE and care about his sister.  He's never really mean to her, but doesn't want to hug or kiss her when she ask. Web-princess still like to give her brother hugs and kisses, but he hasn gotten to the point where he doesn't want to give back that type of affection, but his LOVE for her does come out. --like today--

Web-princess is sick. She has been complaining about a sore throat for a few days now and this morning starting vomiting. We attempt to make it to Mass seeing Superstar was schedule to serve, but when we arrived Web-princess ask to go to the bathroom and started vomiting (thankfully in the toilet). So I had to get Superstar tell him we are leaving; we can't stay because of Web-princess vomiting. (I also explain the situation to Father.)

We got home and Web-princess was vomiting some more. I'm helping Web-princess out and Superstar comes down to the bathroom and said here Sis. He hands her a small garbage can with a fresh, clean, garbage bag in it. As he handed it to her he said you can use this in the living room so you can watch cartoons and don't have to worry about getting to the bathroom.

See he really does care and loves her. I wish he would be willing to give her a hug every once in while so Web-princess will realize that he does, because that's how she shows love (and how she would like love given back).

September 24, 2011

Worms For Dinner!

Yuck!!! I know, but it's true we have been having worms for dinner guest for the last 2 nights! They also have been our breakfast and lunch guests as well. You know you're a homeschooler when the jar that hold the worms has been sitting on your kitchen table for the last few days, even during meal times and it doesn't wig you out! (In part because if we put them somewhere else we may just 'forget' about them!)

The kids just finished up chapter 1 of their science book, Behold and See 5. The topic of this chapter? Do you want to take a guess? (I'll give you a glue it has to do with our guests).  The topic was the earthworm. We dug up earthworms from our yard Thursday afternoon and place them in a jar so we can observe them.

newspaper covering jar of worms

We decided to keep the jar covered in newspaper to help keep the jar dark and hopefully encourage the worms to tunnel at the edge of the jar were we could observe them. The book suggested this lab experiment. It said to feed the worms lettuce or apple peels and sprinkles of water.  The book also suggested the filter on top to allow air in but keep flies and other pest out. The food would atract flies.

Jar without newspaper.  The green stuff is lettuce.

We put all the dirt in first and then put the worms on top. We put in about 5-8 worms and had to remove 3 of them this morning because it was clear they didn't make it.  We had a few we thought would be iffy on survival, but thought we would give them a shot. We for sure we have 2 left in the jar. Out of the two we have left (maybe more) we only have been able to observe one.

The one we have been able to observe has been hanging out at the edge of the jar.  We have been able to see it eat and move along. I tried to get a close up of this worm, but it's a little hard to make out. I did my best to show you by circling where the worm is.

Thing inside the circle is the worm.

You can also see where this worm has been. The moisture trail that follows behind this worm shows you where he has been. In an attempt to show you this I have put red arrows in the picture below to point out the moisture and a purple line to show you the trail.

September 12, 2011

Archaeological Dig

Last Friday we had the opportunity to go to Shabbona Grove, IL for an archaeological dig. The dig is apart of the Shabbona Grove Archaeological Project.  The kids along with other kids from I-HOPE were able to dig, clean artifacts, sift through the dirt, and later catalog items all under the watchful eye of Ms. Croyl.

SS digging on site.

When digging they were told to take small thin layers at a time. This was so they could tell what layer things came from. Also by digging small layers at a time if something clearly unusual pops up then we would see it. Like this red rubbery/plastic thing that we dug out.

unusual red rubbery/plastic thing
When we found something unusual like the red rubbery-plastic thing pictured above then we took measurements of where in the square it was and how deep it was from the surface. We also record it's orination: was it standing up? laying on it's side, etc.  All of that data is recorded into a computer that will give a detail picture of the area.

The above are up-close pictures of that mysterious red thing we found. If you, dear reader, have any idea what it could be PLEASE let me know.  Sometimes archaeologists find things they aren't exactly sure what it is, and it is the case with this red thing.  So if you know please share! This could really help them date other artifacts that were found on the same level, such as a nails and Lincoln log. Lincoln logs go back to the 1916 closer to the time period they were hoping to find. So you never know....

When cleaning artifacts we found coal and bullet shell.
WP in red and friend cleaning artifacts

circled thing is a piece of coal

circled thing is a bullet shell

Side Notes: Yes I know WP (Web-princess)'s hair is SHORT! She had me cut it like that over the summer. It's longer now then it was, but still very short! Also please, if you have facebook, share I-HOPE's fan page with everyone. I'm trying to reach as many homeschoolers I can, especially local homeschoolers! I realize you may not be a local homeschooler, but given how paths can cross, because of social networks,  you may know someone locally to me via the internet or your friends may know someone locally to me.

The co-op is new I started it last summer and I'm trying to grow it! Thanks a million for sharing the facebook fan page.  Also all of the pictures belong to I-HOPE and were used with permission.

September 6, 2011

Green Eggs & Ham

Little Man, my nephew, is going to be here for a few more days then he goes back to my mom's for her 2 months with him. Note For Newer Readers: My sister is serving in Iraq so her son, whose 3, has been living with us for some of the time and living with my mom for some of the time. It's on a 2 months rotation. She's been gone since Christmas 2010 and we hope she'll be home by this coming Christmas.

Seeing he's going back soon one of the many things the kids wanted us to do before he went back was to have green eggs and ham for dinner. So that's what I made tonight! To make the eggs green I added food coloring and spinach. Don't they look YUMMY?

Our Green Egg and Ham dinner!

It's okay if you say NO they don't look yummy, because honestly I didn't even want to eat them at first! However, I sucked it up and ate. Really they didn't taste bad it was just getting pass the visual.  Little Man had a hard time getting pass the visual too. He begged me to make them and now that I had he didn't want to eat!  So what did we do? Well we played the story for him. I found a clip on Youtube and played it!

Boy did that make a difference! Playing this clip 4 times in a row sure changed my little nephews tune about eating the green eggs and ham! Now that dinner is over he's chanting the story. I would not eat them here or there, not in car, not anywhere....

Not only did Little Man ate his meal but he covered his eyes just like the guy in the movie!! LOL

First Day Of 'School'

Well our first day went fairly well. We got up this morning, went to Mass (church), then out to breakfast. Well the breakfast part was because the store I wanted to go to wasn't open yet and I needed 10 minutes to kill, so we went to the McD right next door.

After breakfast we went to the grocery store, came home put groceries away.  Now putting groceries away at our house is a GAME!!! We shop at Aldi and I don't spend the extra money on bags (nor do I bring bags) everything has to be brought in a few items at a time by hand. The kids generally bring them in the front door, put it on the table, and then run out through the back door...the cycle goes on and on.

Here is a video I made back on April 2011.  I made the video for my sister, who is STILL in Iraq, that is why at the end of the video WP said "I love you!"  Also seeing the video was for Auntie they hammed it up bit for the camera.

After the grocery game the kids asked if they could go outside for a bit and play blind tiger. I agreed and off they went. Blind tiger is a game they play on the yard trampoline. I'm not sure of all the rules, because I think it was a game they made up, but one person is blind tiger (pulls their hat over their eyes so they can't see) and the others try to stay away from the blind tiger. The blind tiger CRAWLS while the others are free to walk, hop, crawl around. I think they play this on the trampoline, because it keeps the area the blind tiger has to hunt in "small". Especially seeing we have an 1/2 acre yard.

When that was done they came in and did the 3 subjects I had plan today. Math, World History, and Science. Would you believe it if I told you all of this took place BEFORE noon! Mass this morning was at 8 am, the store didn't open up till 9 am. It was 10:30 by the time we got home this morning and I think quarter to 11 when they decided to go out and play blind tiger. I'm not sure but I think they were back in the house by 11 to do the school work. So it took just about an hour to do those 3 subjects.  Yes a light day, but we are just starting out this year. It will get longer and 'harder' as the year moves on.

September 5, 2011

Summer IS Over!!

Today is labor day, thus summer is over!! Well for many summer may have been over for while with the dawn of back to school time. I was going to start school here 2 weeks ago. I was set to go and everything, but hubby told the kids they didn't have to start school till after labor day and well that just trumped mommy's plans! The kids even told me so "Daddy's the principal and the principal is the teacher's boss, so you have to listen to daddy: No school until after labor day!"

We'll be starting off small this week the focus will be math, science, and world history. Next week I'll add in some spelling and grammar, and then a few more weeks after that I'll add some US history, writing, and reading.  I'm really looking forward to this school year more so then in years pass. I think it's because I've found my groove in some ways.

I can't believe that summer is over! It went bad pretty fast. Between the 3 kids, weekly gathering with the homeschool group I started and talking to my sister via the computer all the time I just got burned out on blogging itself.

I'm looking forward to this Friday! I've made arrangement for the kids to work at a Real archaeological dig! So exciting! I'm ll be posting pictures and blogging about that for sure!

July 25, 2011

My Mommy going to be angry with you.....

That is what my nephew told me the other night when we sent him to bed a little early because of his behavior.  He tried to play us.  The kids asked him several times if he wanted ice cream. He said no. Once the kids were nearly finished their ice cream he right away said I want some. I told him no, because he was given a choice earlier and said no, so no ice cream tonight. He took it fairly well, even Superstar said. "Wow that went better then I thought it would".

Well it went well, because within 5 minutes of that he went to the my bedroom where my hubby was at and asked if he could have ice cream. Not only did he ask, but he told hubby don't tell Aunt Nikki. Well needless to say we don't tolerate those kind of things in this house. We don't tolerate it with our own children and we won't allow our nephew to play us like that either. So we sent him to bed early (20 minutes) as punishment for his behavior. That may seem steep to some, but it is what we did.  In the course of getting him ready for bed, changing into PJ, etc. My nephew said to me: "My Mommy is going to be angry with you! When she gets back from work (Iraq) she's going to yell at you for sending me to bed early". I then, very lovely, informed my nephew that mommy left him here because she wanted me to take care of him and that she left me in charge, so that means she's NOT going to be angry at me.

My sister has been in Iraq for the last 6 months. Although she was home for 2 weeks the first part of July . As a matter of fact she went back this last Thursday. So I've only have had my nephew since Thursday. Prior to my sister return he was at my mom's house because it twas her time with him. My sister for this deployment thought it best that he bounce between both homes on a 2 month rotation.

My nephew has also made it clear that he wants back at Oma's house because we make him take naps here. Which from talking to my mom I know to be true.  When it's 1 pm here it's nap time. I do go in and check on him 20-30 minutes after laying him down and if he was till awake I would let him up, but he has been out cold every day and has been sleeping till 4 pm.

June 28, 2011

His feet are still going strong!

Long time followers of my site may remember how Superstar, my son, had to have surgery November 2009 for ITW. He had cast on his feet till about New Years 2010. From New Years 2010 to about October 2010 he had to wear AFO on both of his feet.

I'm sharing that bit of background because we again today had to see the Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon for another follow up. It has been about 6 months since our last follow up. At today's follow-up we were told to keep things that status quo and see you again in December.

Keeping things status quo means no braces (AFO) for at least the next 6 months!  By the time this December rolls around it would have been 25 months post surgery and 14 months of no AFO.  Superstar STILL toe-walks, but it's only about 10-15% the time unlike pre-surgery when it was 100% of the time. It's for this reason we have to continue to see the surgeon to monitor his range of motion etc. If Superstar start to loose his range of motion or if he starts to toe-walk majority of the time then he will have to be put back into AFOs.

Edit: I originally said 48 months post surgery... where was my brain? It should have read 25 months. I fixed it!

June 10, 2011

We've gone mobile and other news.

I have updated Catholic Christian Homeschooling so that when you visit this blog from a mobile device you will see a mobile version of the blog! I hope that you will enjoy and be sure to give me your feedback on it!!

In other news: We are STILL plugging away with our studies. We have math and spelling work to finish up and if everything goes well we should be done with those subject by the end of the month.

This weekend we are participating in a charity walk: "Rock the Curve Walk" for Scoliosis.  The little girl that founded the Northern Illinois Curvy Girl Group is a dear friend of my children. Her family is a member of our church and she and Superstar were in the same 1st grade class when Superstar attended public school.  We are very happy to be supporting Julia and all the curvy girls this Sunday via the walk. We raised over $100 in sponsorship for the walk. My family and friends are just awesome! Now we just have to hope for beautiful weather.

Speaking of weather what is it like in your neck of the woods? At the beginning of the week we had temps approaching 100. However we had a huge storm front that came through here Wednesday night dropping the temps down into the 50s! It's been so cold here yesterday and today that I'm actually wearing sweat and a sweater! I'm really not complaining because we do NOT have A/C so I'm truly thankful for the cooler temps! It's wonderful really!!!

Happy Summer!

June 2, 2011

Homeschooling is SO disappointing!!!!

In the car on the way home from having dinner at my grandparent's house.

Superstar: It's so disappointing.
Me: What's disappointing?
Superstar: Homeschooling!
Me: Why is homeschooling disappointing?
Superstar: There are NO snow days! There is NO reason to watch the news. I remember watching the news waiting for the Rs. My heart would start to race, the thrill of hearing there was no school. It's all gone now!

Yes, we are approaching the summer months and my son is reflecting on the absence of snow days thanks to homeschooling!! LOL

May 23, 2011

Love A Good Book Sale!!

Love a good book sale. My favorite tends to be first day of our local library's book sale.  First day it's $5 per grocery bag, second day $3 per grocery bag, and the last day $1 per grocery bag.  Of course the last day is the "cheapest" money wise, but the selection is nearly always picked over and I don't get as many books I truly want.

So we went to opening day within the second hour. Selection was still fair. I got a grocery bag full of books for $5. Many of the book would have cost me $5 each new!!!

pile of books I got for $5

Score! However the BIGGEST score we received that day was an 1993 encyclopedia set for $10!!! Yep that's right I got the complete encyclopedia set for the rock bottom price of $10

The blue set is the new ones we got for $10.
The other set below it is from the 1960's and belong to my grandmother.


May 19, 2011

Giveaway: Math Blaster WINNER!!!

Last night the giveaway for Math Blaster-6 month membership ended. It's time to post the winner!!! We had 8 comments on the original post, but only 7 people wanted to be in the drawing. So I put in starting number 1 ending number 7 in random.org number generator and this is what it came up with.

This means the last person that replied "Chip" is the winner!!!!!!

Congratulations Chip!!!!!

I will be emailing you shortly!

May 11, 2011

What I'm Civilized.

What a morning? Superstar, my son, woke up with blood draining out of his right ear. Seeing there was no pain we waited for the doctor office to open this morning. We called them but they couldn't see us till 10 am. Unhappy with how late in the morning that would be my husband decided it would serve us best to go to the walk-in. Hubby called his boss to tell him he would be late and went with us.

Well the original plan was for hubby to take him while I went ahead and went down to my mom's seeing I was suppose to go there this morning to watch my nephew while she went to the dentist. However, when I called her this morning to tell her what was going on she told me to stay with my son and she'll cancel her dentist appointment.

Once we got to the doctors office we decided that I and Web-princess (daughter) would stay out at the lobby and only my hubby and son would go on back to the exam rooms.  After being back in the exam rooms for nearly 40 minutes I texted my husband to see what was going on. He told me they were just now seeing him.

Superstar has a hole in his ear drum. There is NO infection and NO foreign object in the ear.  Yesterday afternoon the kids and hubby were playing in the back yard and Superstar laid on the recently cut grass. While laying on the grass he started to complain his ear hurt. My husband and I both pulled grass out of ear. So it's possible that a stick or blade of grass or something tore his ear drum, but as I said there is no infection in the ear now and no foreign object.

So what does being civilized have to do with this post. Well while sitting in the exam room with my husband Superstar heard a ding.....

Superstar (after the ding): I think my latte is ready!
Hubby: Your latte?
Superstar: What I'm civilized!

May 5, 2011

Classical vs CM vs Literature Based?

I've been thinking about next school year.....

Does any of my readers take a Classical, CM, or Literature Based approach when it comes to homeschooling? I've been thinking about these methods and would like some input and opinions from my readers!


May 4, 2011

Giveaway: Math Blaster - 6 month membership

Yesterday I posted a review about Math Blaster. Well Knowledge Adventure the creator of Math Blaster and Jump Start has provided me with the means to gift ONE of my readers with a 6 month membership to Math Blaster.   This giveaway starts Today and ends May 18, 2011 at 10:00 pm CST.

Entry is simple just leave a comment here on this post!!! You don't have to do anything more then that!!! All comments received before May 18, 2011 at 10:00 pm CST will count. Just keep in mind my comments are moderated, so they don't post right a way. I will count every comment I receive BEFORE the deadline even if it is not made public before the deadline.  Please leave your email address in your comment so I have a means to contact the winner.

If you DO NOT want your email address public then please email me AFTER you leave a comment here!

Make the subject line: Math Blaster Giveaway.  In the body of the email be sure to tell me what your screen name is so I can match your email up with the comment that is here on the blog. I will announce the winner's name here on Catholic Christian Homeschooling on May 19th, 2011 and will email the winner that day as well.  The winner will be chosen by random.org.  Only one entry per person.

Good Luck Everyone!!!!

May 3, 2011

Review: Math Blaster

Title: Math Blaster

Creator: Knowledge Adventure (makers of Jumpstart)

Short Description: MathBlaster.com is a futuristic online adventure packed with wacky aliens, high-tech gadgets and, of course, math! As new recruits at the prestigious Blaster Academy, your kids will play arcade-style math games and race through high-speed missions with the help of a cast of characters that are out of this world! After learning the ropes in Blaster Academy, new cadets will join the Intergalactic Space Patrol (ISP), an elite team of Blasters sworn to explore and protect even the furthest galaxies and deepest black holes of the universe. Armed with the most advanced gadgets and fine-tuned math skills, the cadets of the ISP will travel to exotic new planets, discover bizarre alien races and face extraordinary challenges!

Review: Feb 2009 I did a review for Jumpstart's virtual world. So when Knowledge Adventure contacted me asking if I would review their latest virtual world: Math Blasters I happily accepted!! My kids have been playing jumpstart's virtual world on and off the last year and were thrilled with getting the chance to try out the newest features in both worlds! Of course Math Blaster did not disappoint us one bit!

The kids enjoyed making their online character and went straight to work playing the games. Their favorite game turn out to be Oozami (pictured above). In this game you have find the correct math problems and make it to the top before the ooze gets you. 

For example you can choose to work with place values. The game, for example, will tell you to find the 3 in the ones place (see picture below).  At various stations there are numbers.  You have to find the correct number with the 3 in the ones place. You have to find so many of them before the time runs out and the ooze catches up to you.
Besides place values you can do math problems or work with money. Personally I like the money version of oozami the best seeing WP (my daughter) still needs to work on this skill. In this version of the oozami you have to find the correct money combination that is equal to the value you are looking for. For example the game can tell you to find 31 cents. If you see the combination of a quarter, nickel, and penny then you would want to select it because those things together equal 31 cents.

Another cool feature of this game, besides working on math skills is how it (for members) can link up to jumpstart.com original online world at jumpstart.com. My kids enjoyed being able to go from one world to the other by using the portals within the games themselves. Math Blaster can be a stand alone game, but it's really an extension to jumpstart.com virutal world. Membership to Mathblaster.com gives you full access to mathblaster.com AND jumpstart.com AND the ability to download 4 downloadable PC games. (Membership costs $74.99 per year)

Honestly, my kids have enjoyed Math Blaster so much that I'm seriously considering buying the Nintendo DS version of the game for them. Math Blaster even has mobile versions of the game: only compatible with IPhone, IPad or ITouch.  (FYI: I seen on Math Blaster's Facebook Page that they had a promo code for the mobile game: Math Blasters HyperBlast and are looking for reviewers.)

Overall I'm really pleased with what Math Blaster has to offer and that's saying a lot for a site that is only about 2 months old. Knowledge Adventure has done a fantastic job with the site and I look forward to seeing what is in store for Math Blaster's future by following the Math Blaster Blog and the Math Blaster Facebook Page.

Disclosure: I was provided with a membership good for Math Blaster and Jump Start at  no cost by Knowledge Adventure in order to test the products’ abilities and give my own personal opinions on it. The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but were not influenced by the company or the free product provided.

April 14, 2011

Mom's Health

Wow, Wow, Wow! Is really all I have to stay regarding my good friend's, Judy Dudich, talk today about Mom's Health! Judy's website is: Homeschool Faith and Family Life.  Her talk that aired earlier this morning was apart of the ultimate homeschool expo.

March 30, 2011

The end of March! Already?

Wow! Where has the month gone. Little Man has been with us all of March and will be with us all of April. At the end of April he will go back to my mom's for 2 months and then we'll get him back in July.

It's been good having him here, but it also has been an adjustment. I good adjustment, but at times trying. My sister calls (skype) nearly every day and that's AWESOME, but the times she can do that aren't always the best time for us. I have to roll with, because with her being in Iraq-Army it's not like she can just call us when it's best for us.

For example, yesterday, I'm working with the kids on their math. My sister calls on the phone. Minutes are very expensive so when she calls on the phone it's almost always to say "hey why aren't you on the computer". Seeing I figured that's why she is calling I ignored the call and went on helping the kids. The phone then rang again; it was her.  I ignored the call and went on helping the kids. The phone rings again. This time I ignore the call, went to the computer to tell her give me 10 minutes to finish helping the kids and I'll chat with her.  However she wasn't on the computer...OOPS! So when the phone rang again I took the call and apologized to her. Thankfully, she was NOT upset with me.

I told her right away I was helping the kids with their math and I figured you were calling to say get on the computer. So I just ignored it thinking I could get on the computer in about 5-10 minutes and you be there and it be all cool. That wasn't the case yesterday. The only way she could talk to her son yesterday was via phone. She said I figured you were busy and if I kept calling you would get it and answer.

Homeschooling is homeschooling. It's that time of year I think and we just plugging away with it. So there really isn't anything to report. Although I will say the kids are enjoying time at our homeschool group. They especially love the art class. My mom decided to come and teach art at the co-op. It's awesome and all the kids are enjoying it. (Especially all 3 of her grandchildren).

The only other note would be I want warm weather here to stay. We get a day or two w/temps in 60's only to then have several days in the 30s WITH snow! April is just days away and it sucks to have temps in the 30s. Although today is almost 50, but I doubt it will stay. (Yesterday it was in the 30s).

March 27, 2011

2011-2012 School Year: What to use?

I still have several months before I'll wrap up our current school year. I had plan to go all the way to the end of July. We are going to give our hand at all year schooling. However, spring is clearly in the air, because homeschool social sites, such as The Homeschool Lounge, are buzzing with discussions about what to use for next year for science, history, language arts, etc.

Even though I have several more months left I to have been looking at what to use for next year. I have my math and history covered. I have some of my language arts covered like: grammar, spelling and literature.

I HAVE to figure out what I want to use for science. I also need to do something about my children's handwriting and I need to do something to encourage writing.  The grammar workbooks are great for the basics of grammar, but I need to do something that will get them to write paragraphs, reports, or something along those lines.

Fine Arts are a requirement in my state and I think I have that covered okay. Although I think we are at the point were we would like our kids to learn and instrument, but I'm not sure what instrument to encourage or that will even be in our budget. If you have any suggestions that will be great!

March 23, 2011

How can you homeschool?

I promised those that followed my facebook fan page that I would have this post for you later this week. I know as homeschoolers we get asked this all the time, but its generally coupled with about your education level? What makes you qualify to teach? About socialization? What about college? If you are a homeschooler you know what the common cliche questions are.

The question I received this week wasn't one of the normal cliche questions. It was  a new question. I have to admit that when the question started I almost didn't listen, because I was sure what the question was going to be before it left the questioners lips. However before I answered his question I actually paused to think about what was said and thought "oh wait my answer is not going to apply in this question".

I should have taken that lesson of the importance of fully listening and applied it other areas of my life this week, but that's another post for another day. Anyway.... The question was "How can you homeschool when HE (my son SS) doesn't know everything?"

Yes, how can I homeschool Superstar when he doesn't know everything? This question, once I stopped to actually listen to it, made me smile and chuckle and I asked the critic in reply "Well do you know everything?" The critic responded with "Yes, I do", but what I can expect from an 11 year old.

Yep that's right a 11 year-old question my homeschooling this week. His concern wasn't about my son being around other kids, or about MY qualifications, his concern was the fact that my son doesn't know everything, thus how could I homeschool him. How is that possible?

Out of all the questions we get asked, I never thought I would have to answer questions from a 11 year old. Not only that but that question didn't have anything to do with the normal cliche questions homeschoolers get. It wasn't really about anything, seeing we go to school to learn! So it really is okay that my son doesn't know everything, that's why he's being homeschooled!

March 20, 2011

Life With A 3 Year Old

I've been enjoying having my nephew here, but at times I wonder my gosh how did I get anything done when mine were that little. It's Aunt Nikki can you play with me? Aunt Nikki can you help me? Aunt Nikki I want....; Aunt Nikki....

Actually it hasn't been all that bad, but it just made me realized how independent my own children have become over the years. Gone are the days of sitting in the bathroom with them while they take a bath, and gone are the days of.... It doesn't really matter if I list them all or not the point is own children are very independent now and having my nephew here has made me realize that.

School work over all is going okay. It's a bit of struggle to figure out the new routine of things with my nephew here but we are doing it. Some things I'm waiting for during nap time to do so that makes my kids a little on edge because they are so use to having most things done before lunch.  It's not bad, but it is an adjustment.

What's has been happening with you?

March 7, 2011

Live Cam of Eagle's Nest

I know many homeschoolers, us included, enjoyed watching the live Molly The Barn Owl Cam. Ustream also has access to a live feed of an eagle's nest.  The female eagle of this nest has laid 3 eggs. The first on Feb 23rd, the second on Feb 26th, and the last on March 2, 2011. From what I understand it takes about 35 days before the eggs will hatch. So they should be hatching March 30th-April 6th 2011 (give or take a few days).  This nest cameras are maintained by Rapture Resource Project.

These eagles have been a couple since fall of 2007. It was estimated then that the female was about 4 years old. Some people in the chat, on ustream's site,  seem to indicate that this is the male's second mate that his first was killed in a storm. So I'm not sure how old the male is, but the female is about 8 year old today.  In 2008 they had 2 babies, 2009  3 babies, and 2010 3 more babies. Thus they are old pros at this so to speak.

Why haven't I been blogging? That is the question for the ages!!

So recently my husband out of the blue said to me "February 16th; February 16th what a shame!" or something along those lines. Confused I said to him, "What are you talking about?" He cheekily replied that's the last time you blogged I'm very disappointed!  Yes it's been nearly a month since I've blogged last.

I'm not sure why other then I don't think there is much to blog about lately. Homeschooling is homeschooling nothing new really going on, nothing exciting. Of course my kids have witty things to say and I'm sure some of my reader miss reading those witty things, but I just haven't been drawn to blog about it.

My nephew is here now and that's really not and excuse for not blogging. He's been here only for a week. My lack of blogging has been much longer then that. My nephew, little man, is a real gem! I'm thrilled to have him here! Although, I am not thrilled with the reasons he's here! Prayers for my sister. I can't share much about what's going on with her deployment other then it's pretty scary for her. We have been able to do video chat via skype so not only do I get to talk to to her, but I get to see her and you can see she's stressed out from the environment. I worry about what post-war will be like for her.  For the last 2 months Little Man has been at my Mom's, and after 2 months here he'll go back to my Moms. We are going to rotate homes every 2 months until my sister's 1 year deployment is done.

On a personal front I've decided to tackle my weight and other health issues again! This time I'm using sparkpeople.com as a means to track my nutrition, fitness, etc. If you are on sparkpeople.com you can find me. My screen name is the same there as it is here: SAHMinIL

I don't really have much to say other then I hope I'm finally out of this blogging funk and will star blogging again more regularly.

February 16, 2011

SB 136 4000 homeschoolers at Feb 15, 2011 hearing!

The kids and I were one among the thousands of homeschoolers that were at yesterday's committee hearing regarding SB 136. I don't think Sen. Maloney had any idea that his bill would draw such a large crowd in opposition. Security estimates that there was 4,000 people there.

We were one of the few that were allowed into the Howlett Building to attend the homeschooling summit in Howlett Auditorium. Prior to entering into the auditorium there wasn't a crowd. So we had no idea what was brewing outside.The lady behind us, who took our picture, was separated from her husband. He had dropped her and some of the children off and went to find a place to park. By the time he parked and came back to the Howlett Building they would not let him in because it was full.

At the summit we listen to HSLDA lawyer Scott Woodruff. He basically gave us a summary of some of the things he was hoping to address to the committee at the hearing. Some of what Scott Woodruff had to say can been seen in this youtube video.

Prior to Mr. Woodruff testimony you are able to hear some of the testimony of a truant officer that spoke in favor of the bill. Listen to him carefully it's scary!

Everyone that was at the summit was not able to get into the hearing room. As a matter of fact, to avoid having to go through security again, they took us through the tunnel system from Howlett building to the capitol building. I had no idea what I would face once we got into the capitol building. The second floor where the hearing room was so full that we had to go up to the 3rd floor. It was on the 3rd floor that I was able to take this picture.

Local homeschoolers that were able to get into the hearing room said they got there at 8:30 and went straight to the hearing room. Not only that but once they got into the room they had to stay because if they left, even to go the bathroom, their seat was given to someone else. Even though I wasn't able to get to the room itself I was able to sign an attendance slip and let them know I was there and oppose SB 136.

During the hearing the group, in the hall, did break out into song and sung the national anthem and a few other songs, but shortly after that security came by and told everyone they had to be quiet or they would be kicked out. 

There was some confusion on why we were being told to be quiet, but it turns out that because of the crowd of people they decided to leave the hearing doors open to allow those outside the room to hear. Of course that meant only those right at the door could hear. Seeing we were so far away from the door we gathered our information during the hearing from facebook. There was no real way to know what was going on otherwise. At one point we did made our way down to the second floor and believe that we are seen in photo taken by STOP SB 136.

picture taken by STOP SB 136
After the hearing we were able to go into room 212 and that is when I took this picture.

Some news media outlets are reporting that SB 136 has been dismissed, but that simply is not the case. There was NO vote yesterday and Sen. Maloney has NOT withdrawal the bill. He just doesn't want it to go further right now because he wants to amend it.

HSLDA is asking anyone in Illinois that does not want this bill passed to contact their senator and ask them to tell Sen. Maloney to withdrawal -not amend- SB 136.

Some of the things I find disturbing, by sides the bill itself, is what other homeschoolers are saying certain people said to the crowd there. For example Sen. Lightford  said "I don't understand why anyone would want to spend all day with their kids"; The truant officer as he was leaving the hearing made a comment how all the kids there at the hearing were truant.

I don't know what is more upsetting the senators remarks or the truant officers. Really in my opinion they are pretty equal. In regard to the truant officer remarks don't kids that "go" to school take field trips to the capitol building? Yes we were there to lobby our cause. But I also took the time to show my kids around the capitol building, I explained to them how bills are passed. We went into the gallery of the Senate and House. The House was in session so we got to see law makers at work.

After that we had lunch and then went to the State Museum. We even stayed last night and this morning toured Lincoln's Home and Tomb before driving home. There was more to our trip then just being at the hearing. I don't know how that would be consider truant. My kids got to see first hand how government works and visit national historic sites.

I think my sister, whose in the army and currently station in Iraq, said it best when she posted on my facebook wall yesterday "wish I could be there.. I would want to show up in uniform and asked them why do i wear this uniform to fight for freedom if your just trying to take it away from parents!!"

February 10, 2011

SB 136 and Illinois Homeschoolers

I'm sure by now you have heard the buzz regarding SB 136. If not let me briefly fill you in!  Sen. Maloney wants to change IL state laws to require those that enroll their kids in non-public schools (ie. homeschools, private schools, parochial schools) to register with the state. Those that have read the bill and understand what it means are deeply concern and rightly so. This bill goes a vote to the committee on Feb 15th at 10:45 am in room 212 at the State Capitol.

If after reading the bill still not sure exactly what it means you can attended a FREE webinar that HSLDA is hosting tomorrow (Feb 11) at 9 pm. In the webinar you'll learn why this bill would threaten all private school and homeschooling families with unprecedented state regulation.

That's right even those that choose to send their children to private/parochial schools could be also be infected by this bill. You see the way the bill is written currently BOTH parents that homeschool and those that send their kids to private school, (example Catholic School) will have to register every year with the state. Sen. Maloney has already stated that he plans to amend the bill's wording so that it will only apply to homeschoolers. However as it is now that is NOT the case as of today.

February 4, 2011

Snow, Blizzards, and Bunk Bed.

Tuesday Night we had a huge snow storm in our area. We awoke Wednesday morning with nearly a foot (or more) of snow and snow drifts that caused mini snow walls. Hubby stayed home from work so the kids and I took a snow day. We told the kids if Daddy stay home there will be no school, but if Daddy goes to work then we'll have school. Hubby did up working FROM home, but the kids still got to have a snow day. For the most part it was just a relaxing day, but a few times hubby dear had to tell us to quiet down seeing he was trying to work (he was making business calls here at home). I'm glad that hubby was able to work from home Wednesday seeing it was awful to go out, but I'm also glad that he GOES to work normally. It was hard to stay quiet all day for him. I'm thankful that is something that doesn't need to be done everyday. 

That's the mini snow wall that we awoke to in our back yard Wednesday morning. That metal box thing down at the end is the AC unit. As you can see the snow and mini wall goes all the way up to the top of the ac unit. Our back door is just a one step up. The step as you can see was completely cover the the snow was even higher then the foot of the door.

Besides having no school work the kids and I made snow cream and Hubby and I put together the bunk bed. The replacement piece arrived Monday Night we were going to finish the bed this coming Saturday, but took advantage of hubby being home on Wednesday and finished putting the bunk bed together in between business calls. :)

After we finish putting the bed together WP and SS spent the rest of the day from about 2:00 pm till bedtime really in the beds. NOT because I made them, but because they enjoyed them that much! We even let WP sleep on the bottom bunk Wednesday Night. Now the bed is ready for my nephew. Currently he is at my mom's house. However come the end of THIS month he'll be here full time until the end of March, then he goes back to my Mom's house full time. My sister for THIS deployment set it up so that my nephew is on a 2 month rotation between both homes until she returns about 12 months from now. My nephew has been here since before Christmas. My sister was here too, but return to Ft. Hood early Jan. She had to report back to duty then; she left her son here seeing deployment was just around the corner. She actually left for Iraq Feb 1st....

January 29, 2011

What do you use to teach a Foreign Language?

Foreign Language Help! Do any of you know of curricula or program that will be helpful? We over the years have had people give us various version of Rosetta Stone, but the kids don't like them! They want to learn things like French, German, but I don't know what to use to teach them.  I don't know much myself; so I need a program, curricula, that will teach them (and me) everything including proper pronunciation. 

Any suggestions you have would be great! Thanks for the help!!!

January 28, 2011

What is that? A TV Dinner

For dinner tonight we are having a TV dinner. This is all honestly something that has never happen in this house before. You can tell by this dialog.

Me: Dad is stopping on his way home to pick up some TV dinners for dinner.
Superstar: He's doing what?
Me: He's stopping at the store to pick up some TV dinners for dinner tonight.
Superstar: What's a TV dinner?
Me: It's a meal that you buy in the frozen food section that you heat up and eat.
Superstar: Is it tradition to eat those meals in front of the TV?
Me: Yes, I think it is tradition that is why it's called a TV dinner.
Superstar: Can we eat in front of the TV then tonight?
Web-princess: I want to eat in front of the TV too!!
Me: (chuckling) yes you can.

The whole thing made me chuckle because I know by the time I was 9 and 8 I surely knew what a TV dinner was!!!  Next they will be watching some TV show and will be asking why the phone is attached to the wall or why is that CD so big?? LOL


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January 27, 2011

Colorful Words

We aren't the type "really" cuss, but sometimes words like shit and dam cross our lips. They tend to happen out of pure frustration without any real thought. Our kids like all kids have picked those things up. And seeing we aren't ones to do it often they don't do it often. Although I will say when they do it, we do correct them and explain that even though those words may cross mommy and daddy's lips at times they are not words we should say seeing they aren't really polite.

So where am I going with this. Well Hubby took the kids to confession Tuesday night. It was about 10-20 minutes till confession was to start, but the church doors were still locked. Hubby, seeing it was warmer out then it had been, asked the kids if they were okay with standing outside (somewhat sheltered from the wind) near the doors and just wait for them to be unlocked. To which Superstar replied:

I would if it wasn't for these dam holes in the knees. My legs are cold!

OOPS!!! Hubby took the time to explain to Superstar how using dam wasn't appropriate. Superstar then said "Well I learned it from you!" Yes, even daddy can mess up and teach the kids some things that are less then stellar! I'm sure there are things that your kids have parroted from you that you aren't thrilled with so please share!

OOPS for mommy for not mending the pants by putting some patches on the knees. I've been meaning to do that, but haven't. Think of it every time he puts them on, but fail to remember later!

January 21, 2011

Moody Boys

Do prepubescent boys get moody? Do they have mood swings? And other issues? I've read enough to know that puberty for boys can start as early as 9. SS is 9, will be 10 in about 5 months. So it's totally POSSIBLE that I'm dealing with a prepubescent boy. Early physical signs of puberty in a boys has to do with the male genitals. Of course that being the case I have NO physical signs to go by. What I do have is a little boy that is awfully moody lately.

I want to clarify that he is NOT having tantrums, well in my opinion they aren't tantrums, but just I don't he just gets moody. The other day at the store I accidentally ran into him with the shopping cart. Nothing major, just accidentally ran over his heal. I'm sure if you have let your kids push the cart time to time you've had the same thing happen to you. I immediately apologized, told him I wasn't paying attention, and that I was sorry. Well he just cross his arms, made that angry face of his, and didn't talk to me for the rest of shopping trip and the car ride home.

Another example: Telling SS to get in the bath. He drops the toy he had, sticks out his bottom lip, hang his head, and moves very slowly to his room to get his clothing, then the bathroom, etc. He was doing what I asked, but clearly he is not "happy" about it.

He has ALWAYS been one that needs to know the game plan. If we are leaving the house he wants a list of where we are going. Lately, if the list is not the same as what I said, or if I decided to go to another store or somewhere else, I get from him "You didn't say this ..........." or "why do we have to go here too?". These questions are coupled with the pouty lips, cross arms, and the I'm not going to talk to you for a long period of time. Oh and the looks.... I get at these moments. They are more of a how dare you HURT me this way type looks.  Really I'm not hurting him by having him take a bath or stopping at this store, or leaving the house again for the second time today, etc. (That's another one too I deal with from BOTH kids. If they have to leave the house more then once a day it's a nightmare)

Okay, nightmare is a bit of over exaggeration but the way they both act at times (to leaving a second time) you would think I was asking them to chop of an arm or something major like that. Of course by the time we get where we are going are FINE. It's frustrating cause they are doing what they are suppose to be doing, but they just let me know they aren't HAPPY with it.

I don't have to yell at them or tell them more then once to do something. It's just seem, especially from my son, if its something that he doesn't want to do the attitude I get is how dare you hurt me this way by having me do ______. Or how dare you hurt me by accidentally by _________.

I think the topper came today. He wanted to do the funnix program and I said that was fine, but I needed to finish up what I was working on first. He wasn't happy about it, left to his room, and just shut the door. NOT slam it, just shut it. I finished what I was doing, printed off what I needed for the funnix program and went to his room...knocked on his door and when to open it, but I could NOT physically open his door. In the matter of 5-10 minutes it took me to finish up what I was doing, and print off the paper work I needed he had moved several heavy objects in front of his door, preventing me from opening it. I told him, (calmly I might add) to put everything away so we can do funnix.

I then left to turn on the kids computer and by the time the computer loaded he was standing in front of me. I asked him what the deal was. (why was all that stuff in front of his door).  He said that he did that because he felt that I thought what I was doing was more important then him. What?? How is telling him okay hold on let me finish this makes what I'm doing more important them him??  This again is just one of those moody moments that I've been dealing with. If it's not the way he thinks it should be it's an issue.  Okay I know this is long and more of a rant then anything, but I'm starting to wonder if I'm dealing with a prepubescent boy! I mean do they get moody like that? If so what can I do to help?

January 19, 2011

Let's Talk Coupons!

Really I want to know HOW to do it like these "pros".  I caught TLC extreme couponing the other night. Now some of these couponers were on the EXTREME side, buying hundreds of items of the same product. Buying so many they were having the grocery store pre-order their items.  I have learn since seeing it that the one regularly buys in bulk (with coupons) like that in order to give many of the items away to his church monthly for their food bank and at times other local food banks.  That's easier for some to do when you are buying $6,000 worth of food, cleaners, and other products for just a couple HUNDREDS of dollars!

Here is just one example for the show. She took an over $200 bill and reduce it to just under $7!

She got many of her coupons by collecting them from her neighbors and her local newspapers. I posted  about this once before and made an attempt at it by getting my local Sunday paper for a period of time, but I  really didn't find any saving for me. So I stop getting the paper and stop trying! 

I know there has to be a METHOD! I just don't fully understand the method or how it works, (besides the actually clipping of coupons). I TRULY need someone to go shopping with, someone that truly understands the game, how it works, and is willing to go shopping with me. I want someone to honestly teach me how to do this!! We all need to save some money and start having a stock pile of things seeing a food shortage and raising food cost are on the horizon. Can you teach me?? 

January 18, 2011

Guest Blogger: Interview with a Former Homeschooled Student

I attended private and public schools my entire life, but I’ve always wondered about homeschooling. Do kids get the same education from a classroom environment? Is it difficult to concentrate while learning at home? Rather than succumbing to speculation about some of the questions I had, I decided to interview a homeschooled friend to get some answers! My friend received an education at home from preschool through junior high school, attended a public high school, and is now working on his MBA. Here’s what he had to say about his learning experiences:

What is the biggest misconception about homeschooled students?
We’ve all seen those TV or movie portrayals of homeschooled kids; they’re usually thought of as antisocial know-it-alls who can’t function normally in society. That’s simply not the case! Not all homeschoolers are awkward or introverted and not all traditionally educated kids are social and extroverted. I strongly believe that a student’s disposition is dictated by personality and not by classroom environment!

Is there a particular advantage/disadvantage to homeschooling that you’d like to discuss?
There are so many advantages, but the main one is flexibility. When I was homeschooled, I got to make my own schedule instead of being restricted to a typical 8-3 school day. This allowed me to go running or work out before studying, which is important to me. I’d usually sleep a little bit later and work on assignments a little bit later to make up for it, which I couldn’t have done in a public school. You have to work hard to do this right, though! Homeschooled students will definitely be at a disadvantage if they’re not motivated enough to push themselves.

Did you have any problems concentrating in a “home classroom”?
Not really, because I understood that my education is important regardless of my physical location. Sure, I could have turned on the TV or gone back to bed instead of working on my studies, but I knew better. Because I was the only student in that “classroom,” I was able to concentrate harder. I did my homework, studied, and met all of the requirements because I wanted to succeed—and I did!

How has homeschooling prepared you for “the real world”?
Although I can’t speak for everyone with a homeschool education, I’ve found that my experience has thoroughly prepared me for daily encounters. Because I spent more time with adults than I did with kids my own age, I learned how to carry on intelligent conversations pretty early on. This came in handy once I was in high school and college because I was comfortable talking to my teachers. I was also comfortable talking to interviewers once it was time to get my first job! In regard to preparation, I also learned how to get the right balance of discipline and freedom…I kept telling myself that I had to work first and play later.

This guest post is by Brian Clark. Brian writes and blogs for Quality Logo Products, a top seller of promotional items. When he’s not interviewing people, he spends his time playing hockey

January 14, 2011

New Bunk bed - Waiting Longer

Well we bought a new bunk bed for SS room. The owner of the store delivered it personally last night, in his personal car, on his personal time so we could have it sooner. So hubby and I put the bottom bunk together and called it a night. Seeing the bed didn't arrive until about 8:30 pm last night.

We then went to put the top bed of the bunk bed together, this morning, only to see that the side rail was split.

-sad- We call the furniture store explained to them what's wrong. They asked us to email them pictures. We did! They called us back this evening to saying that it will be another 2 weeks before they can get the replacement part in. It's a bummer that the side rail had this defect, but we are getting a new one.

I would have like to have the bed already, seeing we'll need it for my nephew. (He's staying with us while my sister is serving our country in Iraq. Well 1/2 of the time the other 1/2 of the time he stays at my Mom's house). Speaking of nephew I figured that many of you would like to see a picture of "Little Man". (That one of the many nick names that my sister calls him. I thought it was fitting for a blog name). So the children in the house are my son Superstar, my daughter Web-Princess, and my nephew Little Man.

These pictures were taken right before my sister left for Iraq. :) We took the kids to an indoor play world and ice skating rink. She ice skated with my kids for while and I took Little Man into the play world. After they were done skating they joined us in the play world. The other one is at my house later that night.

January 11, 2011

Google Global Science Fair 2011

Google is looking for the brightest young scientists from around the world to submit interesting, creative projects that are relevant to the world today. Participation in this Competition is open to individuals who are full-time students between the ages 13 – 18 and enrolled in a private or public school. Home schooled students between the ages of 13 – 18 are also eligible. Entries can be done by an individual OR a group with up to 3 students. Students (minors) MUST have their parents approval to participate.

Grand Prize:

  • An all-expenses paid 10-day vacation to the Galapagos Islands with National Geographic Expeditions!
  • A $50,000 Scholarship
  • An experience at CERN, Google, LEGO, or Scientific American
  • A personalized LEGO Prize

Submission deadline is April 4th, 2011. For more details, submission rules, and what is required per entrant please see google's site: Google Global Science Fair.

January 9, 2011

It's 2011 Already?!?! Where has the time gone?

I know many of my faithful readers must think I've dropped of the face of the earth seeing my blogging is very little these days. I will try to be more consistent now that the holidays are done and things are more settle here.

For the last several months I have been working on the homeschool co-op's site, busy promoting it, thus my blogging time has suffered. We are finally at a point to start offering classes....thankfully!!!

Superstar and Web-princess have both seen their doctors recently. The surgeon told us that Superstar does NOT need new braces (AFOS) and can remain brace free for the next 6 months for sure. We won't see him again until June. The urologist told us we have to keep up with Web-princess re-potty training (having her go at certain times during the day). We don't have to go back and see the urologist unless something changes or we want to talk to him.  The re-potty training, having her go at x time throughout the day, will last as long as needed to retrain her body to go on a more regular schedule.

What else is new? My sister is in Iraq. (Army). She also is a single parent, thus needs someone to care for her son while she's deployed for the next year. My mom and I are both taking care of him now. He'll be living at my mom's house 1/2 the time and my house 1/2 the time. It going to be on a 2 month rotation, because that is what my sister wanted.

Right now he's staying with Mom, but come the end of February he'll be staying here. Although I have had him for a night once already, and have him again tonight for the night.  We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the bunk-bed we bought for SS's bedroom. The boys my son, Superstar, and my nephew, Little Man will be sharing a room seeing we only have 3 bedrooms here.

Little Man is 3! So I'm trying to figure out how to do schooling and what activities I can give him during school time! I really would like the help, ideas, and tips from my more seasoned readers that homeschool with preschoolers at home too! Please help!!!!
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