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Friday, August 24, 2007

A better answer than I was going for...

The other day, I went to get The Princess up from her nap. I layed down in her bed w/ her for a few minutes just to spend a little extra time w/ her. She kept hugging me & saying that she loved me. I told her that I was going to miss her when I went to work that night & she said she wanted to go w/ me. I said she couldn't, then asked her if she knew who was in my heart. I was expecting her to say "me." Well, her response was, "Jesus." I told her that that was right, Jesus was in my heart & that he was also in hers. Then I asked who else was in my heart, thinking she would say that she & her brothers were. Nope, again I was wrong! She said, "Dod." (God) Wow! To know that at 2 1/2!

Homeschooling - Week Three

So far, so good! This is our last day of week three & so far we've managed to stay on track w/ the lessons I've planned. We did have a few days where we got behind, but were able to catch up the next day. Yesterday, we even did a little extra science. We were studying seals & sea lions. The opposite page had information about seahorses & The Prophet said he wanted to read about them, too. So after he did the narration on seals & sea lions (the best so far in stating in his own words what he's learned) we read about the seahorses. For that narration, he wanted to draw a seahorse & did very well. He was meticulous in choosing what color crayons to use.

He has definitely come a long way in coloring. From the beginning, he's never really been interested in coloring. He's a great artist, especially if he's drawing something from Star Wars (go figure!) Whenever he had to color the back of a handwriting page in Kindergarten, he would just scribble though. One day, he really took his time & did a great job. I let him pick a sticker to put on the page. For most of the days after that, he did much better & spent time making it as neat as possible. Now, he puts a lot of thought into the colors he chooses for his pages.

For History, we've been studying Ancient Egypt & he is loving it! One of the women in our homeschool group suggested the Discovery Kids website so I checked it out last night. They have a section where you can type in any word or name & see how it would look in hieroglyphics. There is also a section where you go through the steps of making a mummy to preserve the body before burial. He had a great time w/ both. This is another great thing about homeschooling: you can take time to study subjects of interest further instead of having to move on w/ the rest of the class.

The Archangel has been doing well w/ his schoolwork. I have a great supply of worksheets & preschool books that he loves to work through. Last year, I just pulled out a few at a time for him to do. This year, I put together a week's worth in a folder: several pre-reading/handwriting sheets, science pages, & some math work. He also does some of The Prophet's art projects if I feel it is something he's able to handle. Last week, they made their own cave paintings on paper grocery bags. They crumpled up the bags for the wall texture, spread them out, then used black acrylic paint for the drawings. They added beige & reddish-brown for shading the images. Both of them did a great job!

So far, The Princess has been napping during school time, but that will change on Mon. when we add the rest of our school subjects. I'm going to put together a box for her & The Archangel that includes various things they can play w/ only during school time. He will still do his worksheets, but I won't expect him to work all day long. I will also do a few things w/ The Princess, but hers will not be structured. I'm going to start the day w/ Circle Time, where we will open w/ a daily prayer & devotion, read the Gospel & Saint of the Day, sing a few songs, go over the calendar, & say the Pledge of Allegiance. Hopefully, this will help to get us into the mindset of school for the day.

Peace, munchesmom

Thursday, August 16, 2007

It Was Bound to Happen...

...I just thought it would be one of the boys first! We spent about two hours at Children's Urgent Care this evening to get stitches for The Princess. She has a Little Tykes dollhouse in her bedroom that she likes to climb onto. She's always needed someone to get her down, until this evening. She decided to jump off & ended up hitting her head on the bed frame. I was downstairs & when she came to me she was holding her foot, so I thought she'd just twisted it. After about five minutes of crying she started holding the right side of her head. I lifted up her hair & saw a bubble gumball-sized bump with a 1/2 inch cut on it - not a scratch, but not quite a gash. I called my dad & he said it would be a good idea to have her looked at. So, I called Casinodad at work & asked him to meet me.

Once there, instead of using a shot to numb her temple, they squeezed a cold, gel-like substance on & wrapped gauze around her head like a headband. Then we waited for about 20 minutes for it to be numbed & were called back to get three stitches put in. She was very brave for the most part. She sat very still when the nurse took her temperature & blood pressure. She cried when the gel was put on, I think because it was so cold on her cut. Then she cried during the stitches, not because they hurt but because she didn't want to be laying down.

To top all of this off, she's just getting over a stomach virus that left us w/ quite a few not-so-pleasant diapers. Her little bottom is so sore from the rash the virus left for her.

Peace, munchesmom

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Our First Week of School

Well, we're off to a good start, I think. We started w/ the family reunion last weekend, incorporating The Prophet's history lesson. He interviewed about twelve family members for his family history book. (I even learned things about family members that I didn't know before.) Once each interview was over, I took a picture of him w/ each person to put in the book. We decided that he will also interview our parish secretary because she is like another grandmother to the munchkins.

The other part of the history lesson was to learn what Archaeology was. He really enjoyed it. In addition to reading the text from Story of the World I, we read some supplemental books from the library. He was fascinated & couldn't stop asking questions. He even said that he thinks he wants to be an Archaeologist when he grows up. I've been telling him about topics & activities coming up in the next couple weeks for history & he's very excited. WOO HOO!

Our science topic this week was Mammals. We read the information on Mammals in The Kingfisher First Animal Encyclopedia & talked about different mammals. On Thursday, we did an experiment on being warm-blooded. We took his temperature inside & outside, then compared them. Other that being a few tenths off, we found that warm-blooded mammals keep the same temperature no matter what the outer temp is.

Tomorrow we add A Reason for Handwriting to our schedule. By Aug. 28, we will be working all day on all the subjects for First Grade.

Peace, munchesmom

Thursday, August 9, 2007

A Reason to Homeschool

I read an article in our local paper this past weekend that made me thankful (again) of our choice to homeschool. The article was talking about the price of supply lists for schools these days. Huntington Bank created, for the second year in a row, a Backpack Index. The Elementary School (Gr. K-4) backpack added up to $102.67. And what does that total consist of besides the regular crayons, glue, pencils, etc.? Well, a $25 backpack, $10.99 for headphones (why?), $2.99 for sanitizing wipes, $3.38 for 2 boxes of tissues, among other things. Some schools are now asking parents to provide teacher supplies like Ziploc bags, Lysol wipes, & liquid hand soap. I'm sorry, but shouldn't that be up to the school district to pay for classroom items? I know my MIL spent a lot of her own money on books & supplies for her classroom. Where does all the money go that schools continue to ask for every election? (But that's another rant in itself...)

I was talking to one of the parents from The Prophet's T-ball team shortly after she had gotten her daughter's supply list for 1st grade. Their school even says that particular brands of crayons (Crayola), pencils, etc. be bought. Why should that matter? What if someone prefers RoseArt crayons over Crayola?

Anyway, this is just another of the many reasons I'm happy with our choice to homeschool. There are many reasons, & perhaps another day I'll elaborate on them, but for now I'm off to relax a bit before bed.

Peace, munchesmom

Friday, August 3, 2007

So Now We Wait...

On Aug. 2, I sent in the Homeschool Notification form to the superintendent of the public school The Prophet would have been going to. In our state, we just need to fill out the form of our intent to homeshool & list the textbooks we plan to use. It is in no way a request for permission from the school district, just notification. Now we wait for the letter from the superintendent, letting us know that she received our form. I sent the form by Certified Mail w/ Return Receipt & surprisingly enough, got the receipt in today's mail. (We send our Federal Income Tax the same way, but usually don't receive the receipt until months later - well after we've gotten our refund!)

I've had all our school books since March & am anxious to start. We had planned our first day for yesterday (History & Science because there are more lessons than weeks of the school year & I want to cover as much as possible), but I didn't realize that was the date we'd be coming home from our family reunion out of state. But, since his first history lesson is about family, we're going to tie it into our reunion. I read the textbook portion to him on Saturday. Then, at the reunion, he went around to "interview" family members for his Family History book. We also took his picture w/ each person to put in the book.

Up until a couple weeks ago, The Prophet wasn't looking forward to school. He kept saying it was boring & dumb, no matter how much I told him that there would be a lot of fun things too. Well, we met my supervisor at work one day & she told him that her son just finished first grade & loved it. Since then, he's been very excited.

The Archangel is also looking forward to school. He's in preschool & loves to do worksheets. I have a bunch of activity books I've gotten from stores & teacher friends, so he will have plenty to do. Last year, he'd do 10-15 at a time if I'd let him! He especially likes mazes & connect-the-dots. It's amazing how much he's picked up on just listening to his brother's lessons last year. By Christmas last year, he only knew a couple letters & by the end of the school year he knew them all! Just today, he was playing a number type game. When Casinodad walked in from running a few errands, The Archangel ran up to him & said, "Daddy, six & five make eleven." WOW - to know that at the age of 4! The Princess will also take part in school - working on shapes, colors, counting, & other things.

I have some doubts about my patience levels at times, but I know w/ God beside me, these munchkins will thrive in homeschool.

Peace, munchesmom