Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Better Late Than Never

OK, so here are some of the Valentines my daughter did last week. She experimented with the cricut cutting out hearts and embossing. I thought they turned out really cute.
The boys...well....the boys weren't as cute. More like a stamp of something and then they wrote their name. They would not use pink or red paper. Only white cardstock. They think Valentines Day is a horrid holiday. They only like it for the candy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


History is one of my favorite subjects. It was so boring when I was in school - memorizing all those dates and people. Now, as I research and teach it to my children, I am learning so much along with them that I didn't get while in school.

Here at home, we use The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer. It tells history like a story. I read aloud to all 4 of my students from the chapter book. We read one chapter per week. Then, we look in our activity guide. There are recipes, games, crafts, and other projects in the companion activity guides. There are also maps and coloring pages. I do copy these off for my younger two boys. They color while I read to them and it keeps them quiet! The pages and mapwork then go into a history folder for each student. My older two do take notes as I read, as well. I pause and spell things out for them, as needed. The notes go into their history folders.

When we do come into a time period or subject that is especially interesting, we do take a break from plugging along with The Story of the World and do a unit study. For example, when we get to the American colonization and the Revolution in a couple of months, we are going to spend a month studying this more in depth. We plan to do several projects, cook recipes from that time period, and study the people in places more fully.

We do get together with another family or two once per week to do the activities and hands-on projects. This makes our studies all the more fun to do these things with friends.

We also have the:

Kingfisher Encyclopedia of World History
Usborne Book of World History

The Kingfisher version is much better, I think. It is fully illustrated in drawings and photos and great to use as a guide to gain extra tidbits about the time period and cultures we study. The Usborne version we have is all illustrated in comic book style. While interesting, it isn't as visually striking. The more recent edition may be better.

Occasionally my older two students look up some aspect of what we are studying and do a project or write a paper about it.

We are in Volume 3 of The Story of the World. This week we are on Chapter 4, which is about Samuel Champlain and Henry Hudson.

History has become a subject that my students really look forward to. For a couple of them, it is their most favorite time of the week.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Love is in the Air

Valentine's Day is rapidly approaching. My younger two boys worked on making mailboxes last week. They aren't quite finished. My youngest is having a birthday this weekend. When that's over, we will tackle finishing mailboxes and making Valentines. My kiddos usually make their Valentines. It is fun and more meaningful. It is time consuming, but I figure we cover arts and crafts for the month of February!

Check out for fun and cute Valentine ideas. We have gotten several from there over the years.

Of course, just folded cardstock with a colored paper heart or heart doily on the front looks nice, too.

This year I have some Valentine rubber stamps. My cricut will help with cutting out several paper hearts, as well.

We have 2 Valentine parties to attend this year with our homeschooling friends, so we have many Valentines to make!

Will post pictures of some of our creations next week!

Not so bad...

Well, that storm we had last week wasn't so bad. We didn't lose power. Yay! We were stranded for about 3 days. Our driveway is at such an angle that it does not get direct sunlight. We have to wait for the temps to get above freezing before shoveling through 7-8 inches of snow and about an inch of ice! So, Monday things warmed up a bit and we shoveled much of it off the drive. Good news is that the roads are mostly clear in our neighborhood and through town. The snow plows did a good job.

I have sore muscles that I didn't know existed in my back. Shoveling snow is hard work. My oldest boy even did most of it. Chris did much more than me, too. They aren't sore!

We still have a snow blanket everywhere else. It will be a while before it all melts. According to the weather report, we have more coming next week. We have had more snow this winter than I think we have ever had in NWA. Must be global warming ;-p