Monday, July 30, 2007

Scholastic Warehouse Sale

Did somebody say book sale?? Better yet did somebody say Scholastic Warehouse Sale??
This past Wednesday, I managed with the help of a wonderful neighbor, who watched my kids, to go to the Scholastic book sale. While it wasn't everything I had dreamt it to be, it was pretty darn good. I now can only wait for their winter sale which is supposed to be much larger.

Anyway, everything was 50% OFF or MORE!!! Many items were 50 cents to $1. So this is what I came away with.

Coloring and Activity books

Books for pure enjoyment and practicing reading.

Books for our school year.

Books for Nicholas

Monster books for school. The first a Kingfisher Encyclopedia and the second a book that at one time I had two copies of, but have since given one to Celeste and lost the other in our move.

And a puzzle. I wish they would have had more puzzles since that is what I have been looking for lately.

And I won't bother telling you what I paid for all of this, since I also had a $10 off coupon, and these book would probably retail for several hundred dollars. Let's just say it was dirt cheap.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Garden Gone Wild

While we have been exceptionally happy with the growth of our garden, and in most cases the success, our tomatoes have now taken over.

These are pictures from a week or so ago. The flowers have been looking wonderful, but some have now been buried by the tomatoes that have fallen over. They are absolutely HUGE!

And although we have been heavily infested by striped and spotted cucumber bugs, ruining our zucchini, and cucumbers, we are hoping they do not destroy our watermelon plant fully.
To give you some perspective, the watermelon is currently at half the size of the retaining wall stone. So it has doubled in size from this picture.

And my snapdragons are huge, but being invaded by tomatoes as well.

Nick at the Bat

Katie at the Bat

Ballerina Mower

Isn't this what every ballerina desires??

And isn't this how every Daddy looks while letting his ballerina drive solo??

Then smile and look pretty at a job well done!

Monday, July 23, 2007

In Memory of Hodge

To our wonderful dog

Brought home in a towel, covered in fleas, with the name of Sam.

Endured numerous showers and baths the first few months

Never minded that we gave you a bald spot on the top of your head with the numerous scrubbings to de-flea you.

Enjoyed a full bag of Reese's Peanut Butter cups for Halloween.

Would stalk with a longing in his eye anyone with a Rice Krispie Treat. YUM!

Enjoyed an occasional empty peanut butter jar, never minding how we laughed at his efforts to stick his tongue in just a little further.

Chased and barked at the UPS truck with a vengeance. Then branched out to include Fedex, the mail truck, and any other delivery truck.

Never minded wearing sunglasses and hats put on by the kids.

Didn't like when we danced.

Always wanted to be where the action was.

We miss you!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Second Child

When you have had a first child that never got into anything...

When you no longer believe that childproofing is necessary...

When you think that your daughter's lip gloss will be safe in your bathroom...

When you think that your very own make-up and nail polish is just fine in your bathroom drawers...


That second child will find his sister's lip gloss in the afternoon, and knowing exactly what it is, decorate the entire bottom of his face with lovely shades of pink and blue.

Later in the evening, while mom and sister are out of the house and dad is cooking dinner, he will trot back to the bathroom, where he will find the lip gloss now missing (AKA thrown in the trash), and decide instead to try out mom's lipstick.

Then he will see the pretty bottles of nail polish, and knowing what those are for as well, will paint his nails a lovely shade of wine.

Figuring he can get away with the crime, by putting away the bottle, he will promptly leave it in the make-up drawer with the top off, and daddy will then find that the entire drawer has been covered in nail polish.

Amazingly, only 2 tiny drips were on our bathroom floor just inches from the carpet. At least we can say, he was careful.

He just didn't remember the closing the bottle step.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Plans For Next Year

Finally, I think I have most of our supplies for next year figured out and purchased.

I also have a basic schedule outlined.

I am going with a very eclectic method: classical/ Charlotte Mason/ textbook, but I am planning on using the 15 - 20 minutes for each subject like Charlotte Mason suggests.

Our schedule hopefully will look like this:

9:00 Spelling/ Dictation

9:15 Religion

9:30 Writing/ journal

9:45 Phonics

10:00 Reading Practice

10:15 Art/ Music/ Spanish/ Logic ( this will include our Tea Time on Tuesdays, putting together puzzles, figuring out simple logic puzzles, practicing some Spanish vocabulary, art and music appreciation)

10:30 Math

Then a break for lunch and naps.

12:30 Read-aloud/ Narration

1:00 History

1:15 Language

1:30 Science/ Nature study

2:00 Poetry

And here is the planned curriculum:

For Spelling, we will be using Houghton Mifflin's Spelling and Vocabulary Grade 1. I used it when teaching and I like it. Even though a spelling textbook isn't really necessary, it helps me to fulfill my more stringent Ohio requirements.

For Religion, we are going to try the Golden Children's Bible, even though I know Celeste didn't feel like it worked well. We will also use Faith and Life Grade 1, and a Bible Activity Book for fun. I also broke down and got Cay Gibson's Catholic Mosaic from an Amazon Marketplace seller for cheap. We will read some of the books as we come to them during the proper months.

For our Writing, we will continue to use Scott Foresman's D'Nealian, but moving on to Grade 1.

For Phonics, we will finish up the last bit of Modern Curriculm Press' Phonics A, and then move on to Phonics B. We also have used the Explode the Code books for review while driving in the car. We will also continue to work with Alphaphonics.

We will practice her reading with lots of real books. As well as some "reader" types. She likes the Dick and Jane books, as well as the A Beka grade one readers and BOB books.

For art, we do lots of various crafts, drawing, and painting, but I also bought a bunch of reproductions of masterpieces by various artists, and I also have a calendar I have been using this year that has many pictures in it for art study. For music we will listen to various classical composers, and borrow the Classical Kids CD's from the library. I am going to try Elizabeth Foss' idea of Tuesday Tea Time to incorporate both art and music in a fun way for both kids.

For Math, we will continue to use Alpha Omega's Horizons but moving up to Grade 1. I am also going to supplement with Miquon Math's Orange and Red book. I like their hands-on problem-solving methodology.

We will be using all kinds of good books for our read-aloud time.

For History, I am planning on trying the idea from The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer. I like the idea of history as a story, and repeating the sequence every 4 years building upon previous knowledge. So we will try The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer. And along with that she suggests getting books from the library to go along with whatever topic you are covering. We did this last year, but not in such an organized fashion. She also incorporated lots of narration, which I like. I read through part of the book, and it reads as a story versus a textbook. I think Katie will do well with it. We will also cover relevant holidays as usual.

We are going to try Jessie Wise's First Language Lessons as well as some general teaching supplies I have around here for our Language lessons.

For Science, we will use the suggestions from The Well-Trained Mind for books, but will also continue to do more of a Charlotte Mason method: getting outside every day to observe and journal, and look things up, checking out plenty of library books, and reading lots. The basic books we will start from are The Kingfisher First Animal Encyclopedia, The Kingfisher First Human Body Encyclopedia, and then I don't like their suggestion for a book on plants, so I will probably use lots of field guides, grow our usual garden, and use lots of library books once more. I really like what The Well-Trained Mind has done by cycling every 4 years just like History. It goes through Life Science, Earth Science and Astronomy, Chemistry, and Physics. So for first grade we will study the animal kingdom, then the human body, and finally plants. The Kingfisher books are simple and beautifully illustrated, and I think she will really enjoy this.

Lastly, we will do some poetry. I have planned one poem per week to memorize, copy, and illustrate. I have a good number of poetry books, including Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses, Treasury of Poetry by Hedley, Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young by Jack Prelutzsky, and The Very Best of Mother Goose, which is illustrated by Rosemary Wells (one of my favorites).

Monday, July 02, 2007

A Day With Ed Emberley

Katie has been spending the afternoon with 2 Ed Emberley books that I bought at the infamous Half-Price some time ago. She and Daddy have been quite creative. Can you guess what all her creations are?

Fourth of July Ohio Style

And why do I say Ohio style?

Check out what my kids are wearing!!! It is actually chilly every night lately, and today it has been like that during the day. All the windows are open, and I plan to relax outside later.

Three girls in the back of a pick-up truck, enjoying the nighttime display.

Also in case you are wondering about a post on the 4th of July done on the 2nd of July... the local shopping center had a small display June 30th, and we went since it was 5 minutes away and all the neighbors came too.