Sunday, March 28, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Come On In!

Living Room 1

It's been a looooong time since I've invited you all in for a tour.
I figured that I should take advantage of the one time all year that my house will be clean and take photos.
(Ignore the grainy photos (forgot to fix the ISO) and bad lighting. I was lazy.)
Not much has changed since the last time, but come on in and make yourself at home.

Above is the view from the front door.
The French doors head into the school room. (Pictures of that another day...)

Below is the living room view from the front door.
You can see the hallway on the left. We'll head down there a little later.

Living Room 2

Below is the living room view from the fireplace/French doors.

Living Room 3

Looking back towards the front door:

Living Room 4

The messy view from the piano:

Living Room 5

Heading into the kitchen:

Living Rm to Kitchen

(Door on the left leads to the mudroom:)

Kitchen 1

Kitchen 2

Dining nook (there is a window seat in the bay window):

Dining Nook

(Curtain to the right leads to a laundry nook:)

Kitchen 3

Looking back towards the dining nook and living room:

Kitchen 4

Kitchen 5

The hallway (I promised you we'd get there). Our bedroom is straight ahead:

Hallway 2

(The attic room used to be a playroom, but right now it is the 'point of no return' so we won't risk our lives going up there.)

(The one and only) bathroom:

Bathroom 1

Bathroom 2

The master bedroom (nothing master about it...):

Master Bedroom 1

Master Bedroom 2

Master Bedroom 3

Heading into the boys' bedroom:

Boys' Bedroom

Boys' Bedroom 2

Boys' Bedroom 3

Boys' Bedroom 4

(Have you noticed the lack of storage, yet?)

Boys' Bedroom 5

So, there you have it: Our Spacious Home.

And the burning question: Where on earth are we going to put baby #4?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Educational Goals for the Whole Child

The Whole Child

Have you ever just sat and gazed at your child, wondering: Who is this person? What is she feeling? What is he thinking? What moves her? What does he aspire to be?

After researching, dreaming, and planning my children’s education even before they were born, I have found it to be a fundamental shift in my parenting life as I realize that their education isn’t about me.

The boys I am raising and teaching are individual people. Children who have their own thoughts and desires.

These children in our care will become adults with their own lives.

I'm over at Simple Homeschool, today. Head on over to read the rest.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Look! I'm Still Alive!

Chicken Love

Well, I guess this is only proof that Leif is still alive, but still.....

And while I'm at it, I'd like to tell you what a joy this little boy is.
Affectionate, smart, playful, cheerful, observant, outgoing, adventurous, and just. plain. fun.

He loves people in general, but when he puts his hands on my cheeks and says, 'You're my best mommy,' by golly this heart melts.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Social Studies 101

Or, 'Why on earth would you skip history to fit in 'The Fireman is Your Friend' lessons,
when your kids will spend hours pouring over these books anyway.'

Or, 'Why I love Sonlight.'

Or, 'Kindergarten = Reading, Writing, Counting, (a library card) and These Books'

What can I say about this book that will tell you how much I love it? The illustrations are worth pouring over for hours and hours. People in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Clothing, hobbies, homes, sports, feasts and holidays, pets, foods, religions, languages... from all over the world. Scotland, West Africa, Indonesia, Pakistan, Arabia, Caribbean, South America, Holland, and more.

My youngest two boys have logged more hours on this book than I can count. The building of a home fascinates Luke. Beginning with an empty lot, and moving on through various stages, the book shows the bare bones of a house, with hot water pipes, cold water pipes, dirty water pipes, furnace and air ducts, electrical wires, and more. The firemen pages are his other favorites.

Learn how the mail system works, visit a hospital, travel by train, follow a seed from farm to grocery store to a home to a home garden, find out the many ways we use wood, build a new road, go on a ship voyage, and watch wheat turn into bread. These pages are packed with simple step by step stories, detailed (and labeled) illustrations, and entertaining characters.

This book is invaluable for keeping young children quiet.

Want to add in science (including the calendar, holidays, weather, and seasons)?

All three boys are mesmerized by this book, as well. I am astounded by how much information is packed in these pages. After the almanac, we learn about animals (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and insects), plants (trees, cactus, algae, ferns, moss, mold, fungus, and carnivorous plants), and the earth (topography: plains, deserts, caves, hills, valleys, dune, marsh, inlet, bay...). Then we move on to machines and how they work, the science of matter, energy, projects and experiments, and things to make and do.... Highly entertaining with fully illustrated pages.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saturday Seven

2010 ~ Week 9

{1} Days Walked/Ran: 0
(Russ was gone all week...)

{2} Dr. Peppers Consumed: 1

{3} It was a bit of a rough week with Russ gone on a business trip, but we survived.
My sister, Shannon, and I managed a girls' night out at our favorite theater to see When In Rome.
I don't know the last time I've laughed so hard. The movie got terrible reviews, so maybe I just really needed to laugh.
At the very least, it was a refreshing change to watch a romantic comedy that didn't go for the raunchy jokes.
(Thanks, Mom and Dad, for letting the boys come over for a movie night!!)
My sister, Holly, and I (and the kids) met up at our favorite nature hike location for a wonderful time of walking and enjoying fresh air on Friday afternoon.
Russ returned home this morning at 3 am. He got in a few hours of sleep and then took us all to my favorite (sentimental) donut shop
and to the last event of the Children's Performing Arts Series: African Acrobats.
The boys have played like crazy outside in this lovely weather, and we're headed to my parents' house for pizza.
Not bad.

{4} Daily Reading (Bible, A Year With C.S. Lewis, Intellectual Devotional): Still plugging along.

{5} Days of Math with Levi: A couple. Yeah, not such a good week.
Dad gone and Levi and Leif both sick. That's my excuse. Next week we'll make up for it.

{6} Intentional Reading:
Finished The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma. Read The Savage Damsel and the Dwarf (Gerald Morris) cover to cover.
Headed into Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz for book club this month in honor of Easter. This one is a book with a capital B. Whew.
I really need to catch up on book reviews.

{7} No pool. Again.
I just can't manage all 3 boys at the pool by myself. (Can you hear the whining?)

Give thanks for what you are now,
and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow.
~Fernanda Miramontes-Landeros

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Spelling: It's a Good Thing

Spelling Lessons

Spelling. We had to do something.

A year ago (or so) we started in on Spelling Workout. It just felt like busy work book stuff, a waste of time.
I dropped it, and decided to wait on spelling.

After hearing Andrew Pudewa speak and watching his Spelling and the Brain DVD,
I wanted to try Phonetic Zoo, but there were three things holding me back:

I believe it is geared toward 3rd grade and up, it is done independently by the student (not Levi's forte),
and it is not inexpensive. So we waited.

I had it in the back of my mind that Andrew Pudewa had mentioned that Sequential Spelling was similar in theory (I could be wrong about that, certainly don't quote me).
I checked out their web site, where conveniently they have the first eight lessons available for download.
Levi and I got down to business, and it was an immediate fit for us. And it didn't break the budget. Perfect.