Friday, January 28, 2011

The year long story

A friend of mine on facebook started a story today, and had her friends add on to it throughout the course of the day. It was fun, and it got pretty long. Of course this got my wheels turning. My boys HATE writing! But, they are very imaginative, and come up with some pretty entertaining things. So, I have this idea of a notebook called the year long story.

Basically, I will start each day off with 2 sentences in the notebook (or the night before lol), and each boy will also add 2 sentences to add to the story. Each boy will have their own notebook, so 2 separate stories will be going on. The story will continue until December, with 4 sentences being added daily (2 by me, 2 by one of each boy). I'm hoping it will stir their creative juices, motivating them to get interested in writing, work on penmanship/grammar, and be something that's just between me and that boy (like an inside joke).

What are your thoughts on this? Good idea, bad idea? Or have any improvements I can make to it?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Yes, I'm about 2 years late into the game lol. In my defense though, this is our first year homeschooling, so I just found out about them... HA!

I've read Sue Patrick's book, and looked at so many different blogs and workbox pictures it isn't funny, and I'm convinced I NEED to use this system. It's just the thing I need to help my kids work independently and stop them from day dreaming or getting bored. We currently use a folder system like the one Jolanthe uses at homeschool creations, and it works... but not the way it should. The kids constantly complain and whine, about how much work is left, they day dream, they need me to sit there and hover to make sure it gets done, and it takes them forever to finish. I think it's just because my kids need constant breaks, and it's just not fun.

With the original system, Sue suggests using 12 boxes so that you can put your main subjects in them and break them up, then fill in the rest of the boxes with games/puzzles, review work or file folder games. I think this will work better for my kids, because even though it's essentially more work, the games provide motivation for them to work through their schoolwork.

So does anyone have any good websites with workbox activities, labels, and such for me to get more ideas of what else to put in their boxes? Oh, and I haven't exactly bought the boxes yet lol. Were waiting for payday, since I'm not sure exactly of the costs of everything for the 3 children. So stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Earth and the space center museum

Lately we've been really caught up in Orion's learning disability testing (the school district is really cutting it close). They have until January 30 to hold the final meeting, and we just finished testing last week. I still don't have a date for the final meeting, and I'm getting antsy.

Besides that, we've been diligently studying the Earth. Our unit on the earth was only supposed to last a week, but the boys have enjoyed it so much. We kept going more in depth, and adding different projects to our unit too. Now our earth unit has turned into a presentation, that the boys are excited about presenting to Daddy, and then again to my Grandma and Aunt. Bonus points for this project getting in some public speaking practice :)

Last week I took them on a field trip to the Columbia Space Center, and they had such a blast! They really enjoyed learning different space related things. I was hoping they would have more on the earth, but that's okay, they had fun anyway and it was educational.
Posing with a real astronaut suit. You can actually climb into the back and take pictures in the suit, it was really neat.

Flight simulator, taking turns landing our shuttle back on earth. Orion was the only one who didn't crash us, even with me taking a turn lol.

Catching parachuting shuttles and men. This was to show them the different types of parachutes used to slow down the shuttles as they come to earth.
Dropping marbles in and watching them spin around the giant funnel thing. It's supposed to simulate how the planets orbit around in space, and there were different sized marbles to try it with. We stood at this station for half an hour lol.
The boys launching pressurized 2 liter bottles. I'm glad the museum was kind of empty, or there would have been a line for this!
Lego robots that you program with a computer. The boys loved this!
Orion programming his robot for the next mission. I am now looking into finding a robot building club for the boys, since they enjoyed this so much :)

I'll be back in a few days with how the presentations went, and of course pictures!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!

And a Merry late Christmas. How was everyone's Christmas and New Year's? Our Christmas was really nice, and filled with lots of family... and of course gifts. I was really sick the week of Christmas, with a flu and vomiting. I thought I was better, and felt well enough to visit with family. I was wrong lol, boy was I wrong! I was a trooper though, and stuck it out for my kids (who were having too much fun with their cousins).

The week before new years I was still getting over my flu, and was so stuffy. I went to blow my nose, and had a terrible pain in my left ear. It brought me to my knees, and had me in tears. I had to call my husband home early from work to take me to the hospital. Turns out, I blew out my ear (literally)! I have a perforated ear drum in my left ear, and still can't hear a thing. They gave me some antibiotics, and pain killers, and instructions to schedule a follow up appointment with my Dr. My doctor said that my hearing should resume as my eardrum heals, but I might need surgery to repair that :(

I didn't let that put a damper on how we brought in the new year though! We went to watch the Pasadena rose parade. It's kind of a big thing around here, so we were excited to have great seats and be able to go. My husband's company had reserved parking, and bleacher seating for us, complete with our own bathroom (no waiting an hour in line for us). They even had free food (my kids favorite part), so of course my kids helped themselves to a breakfast of champions (hot dogs, popcorn, hot chocolate, and nachos).
This is before the parade started. You can see people still lining up :)
Boo Boo enjoying the parade, and all bundled up!
My Babe acting silly.
Bunny loves her photo ops, and she really loved the horses in the parade.

These were our favorite floats in the parade. Bunny is really into the Tangled movie (we've seen it too many times already lol), and thought the first float was Rapunzel's castle with Maximus the horse in front :) And the boys (husband included) are really into medieval stuff, and loved the jousting float that had knights on horses following it.
We've been keeping up with our school studies, I just haven't been keeping up with pictures and blogging. But, tis' a new year and I can always fix that! I'll be back in a few days with some more pictures of what we've been up to, and what I've been working on.