Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Homeschooling: Part 2

My daughter Jessica is 5 1/2 yrs. old and is my little kindergartner this year. For this level I focus primarily on getting a good foundation on reading and math. For teaching reading I've skipped around a lot using bits of this and that. With each of the kids though I gravitate back to two books. Evan Moor's Phonics Fundamentals (Vol.1 & 2)

and the Explode the Code series.

She is also reading aloud little bob books. Soon we will be starting the Pathway reader series.

For math I'm trying something different. I've used Singapore math with all of the other three and I really like it...starting in first grade. I'm not really too keen on the K level. So, I've started Jessica in Math-u-see. She LOVES it. She started the primer level about a month ago and she's already over halfway through!

For Bible she practices her verses for the AWANA club that the kids go to. She does Science & History with the big kids. (see below to see what they're doing)

Stephen is in first grade. (It seems weird to label them with grades really. Some things fall into grade categories and some things the kids all do together, no matter what 'grade' they are.)

The first thing he works on is his handwriting:

I really like these books (A Reason For Handwriting) because the copy work is scripture!

Math is Singapore. He started the year in book 1A and is now part way through 1B. I think he's on track to be about halfway through 2A by summer.

For Language arts/reading he's working on Explode the Code book 3 & Christian Liberty Press Adventures in Phonics.
He also reads aloud to me daily from the Pathway reader book Days Go By.

Once a week he goes to a bible study called BSF (Bible Study Fellowship). During the week he practices a memory verse for this and works on study questions with his dad. He memorizes verses for AWANA's too.

Science and History I read to the kids altogether. We are making our way through Exploring Creation Flying Creatures of the 5th Day. It's been slow progress but we're plodding along. My goal is to finish this book and move on to Exploring Creation Astronomy.

The other book we are slowly progressing through is Mystery of History Vol. 1.

Both of these books are fantastic, so when I say plodding through it's because it's taking a long time at the rate of 2 lessons a week. We have been doing Science on Monday's and Wednesdays; History on Tuesday's and Thursday's.

The one thing that was on my list of goals for Stephen that we haven't accomplished is typing. I wanted to have a time that each of the kids would be able to use the computer for this, but I haven't figured out a way that works with our schedule yet.

Next up: Amanda & Kenny.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Homechool Goals: part 1

I find myself constantly reevaluating the kids school work. Deciding what's working for them and what may need a bit of tweaking. In my head I was telling myself that I should have written things down at the beginning of the year so that I could have a better idea of what we were accomplishing.

Fast forward a couple of days and I'm clicking through some files on my computer trying to find something completely different and what do I find? A list of goals for each of my kids that I HAD written at earlier this year. I had also included a detailed book list for each of them to read during their independent time. I do not remember typing it all out...but I'm SO glad I did, what a resource! :o) (on a quick side note: if you are looking for some good read aloud suggestions for your family Stacy has some great ones you should check out HERE.)

For the next couple of days I'll be posting what each child is doing. What our original goals were for the year, where we are now and where we hope to be by the end of June. Maybe if I post it all here I'll have it archived to refer back to easily!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Stir Fry On the Griddle

A couple of places that we like to go out to eat are the Japanese Steak House and Flat Top Grill. Both places have these giant stainless steel grills that they fry up your food on while you watch. It's always steaming hot and delicious! The other night we were wanting some but not wanting to spend the money to go out, so we tried duplicating it at home with much success!

Here are the ingredients:

You could throw in just about any fresh veggies to suit your fancy. We used broccoli, carrots, water chestnuts, mushrooms, sugar peas & onions. For meat we used both chicken and beef cut into bit size pieces.

Garlic & butter, mmm.

If you like a bit of spice you'll want some of this!

Some good sauce, you could use any stir fry sauce really, but we like teriyaki!

Noodles. The restaurants usually offer rice or egg noodles, we prefer the egg ones.

An electric griddle. I use this one all the time. It's great for grilled sandwiches, pancakes, french toast, get the idea.

First step is to boil up the noodles. You're going to cook these more later so only boil them for half the recommended cooking time. (For example the package for these said to cook them 20 minutes. I boiled them for 10) Drain them and rinse them with cool water to stop the cooking process.

Time to get things going now, heat up the grill (If your grill has a temperature gauge I set mine to 350) and toss on a chunk of butter to melt.

Pick up a bowl and add in all the things you want. This is the fun part because you can give a bowl to each person so they can pick exactly what they want. That way Ian can have his nice and spicy and I can have mine with extra teryiaki and the kids don't have to have onions if they don't like 'em and don't forget the garlic (we used about a tsp. of minced per bowl.)

Your grill should be nice and hot now, so pick a bowl and dump it all on there. Stirring it up pretty often.

I think any good stir fry needs some scrambled egg in it, so push all the stuff to the side and crack an egg on there. Once it's good and cooked up, stir it in with all the rest. Continue to cook it all up until the meat is no longer pink, then scoop it steaming hot onto a plate.

Doesn't that look yummy?

It's also fun to have a cutie pie like this watching. :o)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

There's this guy in my life that's super special to me.

He's handsome, funny and way more articulate than I'll ever be.

He's a great dad, an encouraging friend

and I feel privileged to call him my husband.

Happy Birthday Ian!!

I love you!

Monday, January 11, 2010

11 on the 11th

I read a few blog posts yesterday from people who participated in the 10 on the 10th thing. I didn't get to it before the day was over so today I'm going to give you 11 on the 11th. So you'll get one more bonus since I'm slow getting this typed out!

1. My little Noah has started to say so many new words! He says baby, Noah, mama, dad, bye bye, hello, hi, up, car, ball and his version of the other kids' names (tetta=Jessica)

2. Kathleen is growing and I want to treasure these itty bitty toes as long as I can.

3. Josiah turned 3 last week!! I completely skipped over posting on his birthday but here's a pic of him as he was opening gifts.

4. Emily makes taking self portraits look so easy (it helps that she's adorable!)...mine turn out like this one.

5. We started a schedule last week that maps out our day in 30 minute increments. I love it. It helps us all stay on track soooo much more and I think we accomplish a lot more in the same amount of time. Now to just STICK with it.

6. I really want to keep track of all the books that my kids read. I think it would be extremely helpful in several ways.

7. I've had a back ache for the last couple of weeks. At first I thought it was because of the new mattress that we got, and now the pain seems more internal. I think it may be kidney related. I don't know. It's not intense pain, just mild and annoying. *sigh* maybe I'll just ignore it and it'll go away?

8. My daughter is watching a home video of herself telling the story of Goldilocks and the three bears....I need to take more video it's hilarious to watch later!

9. Getting to 11 things is harder than I first anticipated.

10. Stephen finished his first pathway reader book!! This is a HUGE milestone for him, he was super excited! :o)11. I'm having a hard time with meal planning lately. I try to think of a menu and draw a blank, you'd think I'd never cooked before.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


A new year begins.

In a new house.

New goals.

A few new school books should arrive any day now.

New schedule to make (& hopefully stick to!)

The beginning of a new year reminds me of fresh snowfall. So fresh, clean and peaceful. Soon it will be broken in but for now it's just lovely.