Monday, July 20, 2009

Summertime School

While we don't do a ton of school during the summer, I do want their brains working a little. We try to do school three days a week. It's like a condensed version of what we do during the year. This is our chance to brush up on our skills and review before we move on to the next year. Also, I am getting ready to order our curriculum for the following grade level. This gives me time to look through and see if I need to prepare for anything. I don't want to have to rush through, so I can have plenty of time to look at each child's materials. Usually, I do this while they are doing some school work. This limits the distractions for all of us. On another note, I turn the ringer off on the phone while we are working. This has been crucial for me. If I treat their school as if it is my work...I don't get taken away by other tasks.

Of course, we also have fun the other times and the kids get to play and run around. We only take about an hour or two for school. One summer we decided to skip this and it was a disaster twhen school started again. For our family, some routine is important. Each homeschool family has to decide what works for them.

This weekend, we took a field trip to Fort Delaware in Narrowsburg, NY. It was only $20 for a family of four and they have a picnic area so you can bring in lunch and snacks. The staff were great and very informative. They really stuck to their period and the kids had a great time. Seeing the way the militia and their families lived made us appreciate our modern conveniences. I would recommend this tour to anyone in the area.

Off to play. Happy Homeschooling!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Staying Motivated

So much for my blog taking over the world. In the back of my mind, I keep telling myself to get writing. Sadly, that has not been the case. Summer has arrived and I don't want to be at the computer. I do, however, want to keep progressing with this blog and learning how to add more features. That won't happen if I don't keep working.

Since I mentioned summer has arrived, our garden is actually producing a little. When I say a little, I mean the kids picked two strawberries yesterday. Yeah, two. They each got to savor one baby strawberry. I felt sorry for the puny little strawberries. They didn't get a chance to grow up. It was funny how excited the kids were to run out and pick them. It was their first taste of victory for picking buckets of rocks to clear some room.

My daughter's next big wish is to uncover a woolly mammoth in our backyard. Dream Big Baby! So, the kids researched woolly mammoths and have begun excavation. On the week of this decision, there was a lady in Michigan who actually discovered bones while digging for a pond. What a thrill. So, while I am not all for the idea of creating potholes all over the yard as dig sites...who am I to crush a dream? Boy, I'd love to post those pics.

On another note, has anyone ever been to the PA Grand Canyon? It's in Wellsboro, PA. I didn't even know there was such a thing. The pictures look beautiful. If the rains ever stop, we'll be planning a day there. The kids want to look for Bald Eagles and they should be able to spot them at certain areas.

Thanks to all you consistent bloggers for keeping me motivated(at least in the back of my mind).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Plotting and Planning

Our lesson of the week is to think big...but plan ahead. I think I mentioned we are planting our first garden this year. Apparently, in the Northeast where we are, the rocks are the most abundant things in the soil. Our first step for our garden and baby orchard was to order the trees and plants. Okay, it's been 6 weeks and they still haven't arrived. Next year we'll order them earlier(as we were told). Lesson One. Check.

Next, we had someone plow the area that we marked off. Since we are out of town during the week, we expected to come home and see an area set for some topsoil and planting. Oops. This stage just turns over the sod. Now comes the rock picking and rototilling. I finally understand why there are these gorgeous rock walls separating the property lines. With so many rocks, where could you possibly put them all? So begins another project. A fire pit.

After spending the weekend picking rocks and rototilling, we will be ready to plant this weekend. That is, of course, if my plants arrive. If not, then we'll be running to the nursery to buy some other things.

The kids have helped with as much as possible. We have started some seedlings and are keeping note of their progress. My son is documenting our successes and failures and comparing cost of seeds, plants, and equipment needed. He's starting to realize the cost of fruits and veggies in the store and how much we should expect to save. The real success is running outside and picking a snack right from the yard. I love our optimism. Weekend Garden Warriors. That's what we are.

My daughter is preschool age so she gets involved in the planting, identifying what we are growing, making markers for the different items we plant, etc. I bought a bundle of shims and wrote the different fruits and veg's on them. She painted and colored the sticks to use as plant markers. Now we won't forget where things are planted and our garden will have some pizzazz. "Pizzazz" is her favorite word at the moment.

So, wish us happy gardening, as I realize the hard work is just beginning. We'll post pics as soon as we actually have something growing other than the rocks!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Earth Day!

We have been down and out with the flu, but we are feeling better and ready to move on. Another bonus of homeschooling is the ability to take a couple days off and not have to worry about making up the school work. We do school a couple of days a week throughout summer to make sure we don't forget anything. My son actually prefers this, believe it or not.

The kids are excited about Earth Day and can't wait to turn off the power for a minute. Nickelodean has asked its viewers to participate in this activity. I think we'll turn everything off for longer than that. It's nice for the kids to see the bigger picture of the little differences that they can make.

We have made a list of ways we can help the Earth and ourselves at the same time. Since we grocery shop a lot, we have purchased reusable bags. If you are crafty, you can make them yourself. My sewing abilities are laughable and my groceries would be sure to land on the pavement if I made my own. Home Depot sells big orange ones that are very sturdy and great for bigger items. This is one simple way to make a change.

I'd like feedback on changing to the eco-friendly lightbulbs. I know they save energy and last longer, but I am very concerned with the mercury content. Lots of people don't even know that they contain mercury and must be disposed of in a specific facility. You can return them to Home Depot and they will do it for you. In a recent trip to their store (we are building a house, so I live at Home Depot), they had a salesperson handing out a lightbulb to each customer. I asked her about the mercury and she was totally clueless. She left her station in search for answers and found us elsewhere in the store. She informed me that they have a disposal site, but as she was selling and handing out these to customers, I was quite disappointed that they were not informing the public about the hazards. I would think environmentalists would be more involved in the pros and cons of these lightbulbs. Again, I welcome your thoughts.

So, we'll have one more day of recovery and then go out to save the planet! Happy Homeschooling!

Monday, April 13, 2009


Spring is officially here and it has revitalized our spirit and put us in a great mood. We will begin planting our garden and landscaping our yard. I am excited to have my kids involved in the process of growing their own food and seeing their hard work turn into yummy food and vibrant flowers. That is my plan, but as this will be our first garden, I hope all goes as expected.

My sister lives very close and has just gotten chicks so that they will have fresh eggs. We had a chance to see them this weekend and the kids were thrilled to hold them in their hands. This is another new experience for all of us. Shame on me for not bringing my camera; I will have it next time we visit.
This is the time of year to take a deep breath, clean out the old, and bring in the new. Make positive changes in your life and you will feel the benefits for years to come.
Happy Homeschooling! Welcome Spring!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Back In Action!

We did it and actually came out unscathed. Yes, we had no cable, phone, or internet for one whole week. The kids met some new friends and got their daily allowance of Vitamin D. I admit, we did occasionally stop outside of the local diner and use their Wi-Fi. My husband has to e-mail reports every night... so what if I happened to have my I-Touch with me? Purely accidental, of course.

I heard less whining than anticipated and we had a dance party in the living room instead of watching American Idol. It seems some of you are inspired to try it for yourselves. I hope you do because our family really enjoyed each other.

It is a good reminder of why we homeschool and choose to be so involved with our kids. Sometimes we forget the importance and value of the decisions we have made and get sidetracked with all of the day to day activities. This was a nice opportunity to reconnect with ourselves and re-evaluate our priorities. Yeah for us!

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Next week a strange phenomenon will overtake our household. Lives will be forever altered. Okay, it's not the end of the world, but my son is full of angst. We will be without TV and internet for at least four days. Oh! The Horror!

As for me, I'm giggling inside. I little twisted and demented laugh is ready to burst. We have been housebound all winter and have spent way too much time in front of the computer. It's time to do some nature walks and remember why we love Spring. The birds are chirping and the leaves are starting to bud. We feel just like all the animals scurrying around us. You can feel it and smell it in the air.

So go wireless, get unplugged! I dare you! Your family might revolt, but the world will not stop spinning. Walk the neighborhood and pick up trash. Clean out the kids' toys. Have a picnic. Bring out the