Sunday, September 26, 2010

Well if we don't have enough on our plate already

I have a dream.... no we are not studying Martin Luther King Jr. right now. I have a dream to open a homeschool resource center here in my town. A place where one could go to offer or take classes from mom's, a place where you can find those out of print REAL history books. A quiet place for mom's to plan, kids to research and for all to share in this journey of homeschooling.

I would love to offer services at very little charge to no charge. Book binding, copy machines, fax machines, printers, computers, coffee and lots of it. Not just another book store, but a lending library, a curriculum treasure trove. A look and see before buying from the company. Believe it or not, I do not want to do this to make money. That is the true beauty of it.

So, things to research as of now, non-profit christian status, grant money - non government funded!! A place, the vision and the people!

If anyone has an extra 50,000 laying around, I know a great non-profit just waiting to blossom!

I think I can I think I can I think I can......

Wow, I really need to get my own words in writing to hand myself at this time each year. I always end the homeschool year swearing I will never fill up our schedule like that again, and yet, here we are beginning Oct. 1st with a full schedule that would blow even the deepest foundations over.

My husband recently accepted a canadency for a doctorate at Walden University. Yes, that sounds daunting, and I'm a tad bit worried about his mental health right now. Add in homeschooling three children, with three very active lives, running the homeschool support group meetings, a Friday school co-op with 80 children and numerous classes that add to our homeschooling experience and you have a recipe for insanity. Oh, yeah, and I'm in school full time too for my bachelors. Are we crazy or what? So, here is our weekly schedule, just to make you feel like your normal.

Monday - Homeschool 9-12 we are doing some pretty hefty classes this year
Piano for 8 year old
Science co-op for twins - Apologia
Botany for 8 year old
Guitar lessons for twins

Tuesday - Homeschooling again :0
The one day, where we stay home and hmmm, clean?

Wednesday - Homeschooling 9-12
Violin Lessons for 8 year old
Bible Study for Kids with Grandpa

Thursday - Homeschooling 9-12
Violin lessons for the older kids
Horseback riding for all three
AWANA for all

Friday - Friday School 8:30-12:00
Co-op (yes a second one) 1-4pm

Saturday - Everything else that needs to be done before we start it all over on Monday

Sunday - Church
Bible study
Planning Day

Now, if you were too add in my own schooling schedule, we would see I have exactly 3 hours and 42 minutes each day, if I read while making dinner :) Add in my husbands schooling and our day extends well into the evening.

Check back in 3 weeks when I show you just how a family of 5 can make 32 hours in a day appear :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Finding True Strength to Homeschool

Have you spent your summer looking for the perfect curriculum? The perfect Chore Chart, meal planner or even trying to find the perfect schedule for your family. You know the schedule that is planned down to the millisecond so that you can fit everything into your life? Are you exhausted and school has not even begun? Is it your goal to start off each day with a few minutes of quiet time with the Lord? Do you know that for many families that is the secret to their success? It’s true. Time and time again I hear, “when I miss my morning time with the Lord, the day just doesn’t fly right.” For me, missing my time in the morning usually ends in a bad attitude, an impatient mom, and then transfers over to inpatient irritable children, who then irritate me more and by the time lunch comes, we are all ready to be away from each other.

It was on one of these occasions that I sat down and prayed. (Okay, I was sobbing in my room and decided it was time to ask the Lord what to do) I remembered that it had been a long time since I sat down in the morning hours and read my bible and prayed. Surely Lord, that can’t be the answer to my kids bad attitudes, the dog puking, the computer breaking down and the fact that my laundry could start a riot any day. But yes, was the answer I kept hearing, over and over. Wow, talk about being kicked when you’re down. Here my plate was full and overflowing and I knew the Lord wanted to me to add yet another thing to my morning. I’m such a failure Lord, how can you even stand me. I should have known all along that my time with you is far more precious then checking emails, or facebook. I should have known that seeking you first would give me the strength to deal with all that was ahead of me. I’m such an unworthy child lord.
I grab my bible and decide I should start then and now. I opened up the bible and let it fall where ever it did. After all I hadn’t been reading it anywhere in particular so anywhere was a good place to start. I began reading…The caption above the chapter read (Comfort for God’s People) I’ll start there. As I was reading Isaiah chapter 40 I began to sob again when I hit verse 11. “He will tend his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arms, he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. Imagine the relief I began to feel. The Lord is so good to us. Here I am ready to call it quits, reaming myself for not putting God first in my life, angry that I have failed at everything I but my hand to do, and yet, this verse, He will gently lead those that are with young. ( have you ever saw a mother sheep, mother bear, mother lion with their young. Usually they are trying to lie down and rest while the little cub is running over the top of them, biting their tails, swiping their eyes and flipping over mom to get to each other. Have any of you felt that way? The Lord knows raising children is tough. He knows we are only human, weary, exhausted and yet trying so hard to follow the Shepherd. He knows we fail daily, and yet here He is telling us that he will gently lead those who are with young. Gently, that was the word that got me. I envision the Lord gently reminding me about my devotions. Gently reminding me that my children’s character is more important then that day’s math assignment. Gently holding me when I begin to crumble under the day’s weight. And, then he gathers the lambs in his arms and carry’s them. He truly cares about our children, dare I say, more then we do. He will teach them what we can’t. As I continue reading Isaiah 40, I come to verses 28 and 29. He does not faint or grow weary, his understanding is unsearchable, he gives power to the faint and to him who has no might he increases their strength. I laid there on my bed crying, Lord, I have no more might. I need you to increase my strength.

I believe that I sat on my bed that day for about a half hour. I have no idea what my kids were doing, because I had left in such a fury. (They were cleaning the house) But, these verses became my theme for the year. He gently leads those that are with young, and he gives strength to those who have no might.

The most important thing this year for you and for your family is remembering where your strength comes from. Envision the Lord leading you gently, knowing you will make mistakes, knowing you’re not perfect, your curriculum will never be perfect, your house will never be perfect and no matter how hard you try your children will never be perfect.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ikea laptop desk OR Kids private workstation!

If you feel the need to purchase one of these, or 4, for my kids and I go right ahead! At 59.99 a pop these space saving wall stations fit the bill for most of our needs. I know what everyone is getting for Christmas!

I'm thinking four walls, four kids, four desks, private, quiet work. Or I could be sorely dreaming.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hail Storms - A perfect lesson in weather

What makes giant sized hailstones? Do they hurt more when hitting you on the head? (YES!) but we didn't need a book to tell us that.

A perfect hail storm came our way today and in the process we had all the neighborhood kids out learning about how they are formed, as well as learning to measure circumference and diameter.

Compared to many places our hail stones are very small, but for our area it's the biggest we have ever seen.

Here is what we found out :


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Large hailstones up to 5 centimetres (2 in) in diameter with concentric rings
Part of the Nature series on
Spring · Summer
Autumn · Winter
Dry season · Wet season
Thunderstorm · Supercell
Downburst · Lightning
Tornado · Waterspout
Tropical cyclone (Hurricane)
Extratropical cyclone
Winter storm · Blizzard · Ice storm
Dust storm · Firestorm  · Cloud
Drizzle · Rain  · Snow · Graupel
Freezing rain · Ice pellets · Hail
Meteorology · Climate
Weather forecasting
Heat wave · Air pollution
Weather Portal
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Hail is a form of solid precipitation which consists of balls or irregular lumps of ice, that are individually called hail stones. Hail stones on Earth consist mostly of water ice and measure between 5 millimetres (0.20 in) and 150 millimetres (5.9 in) in diameter, with the larger stones coming from severe thunderstorms. The METAR reporting code for hail 5 millimetres (0.20 in) or greater in diameter is GR, while smaller hailstones and graupel are coded GS. Hail is possible with most thunderstorms as it is produced by cumulonimbi (thunderclouds),[1] usually at the leading edge of a severe storm system. Hail is possible within 2 nautical miles (3.7 km) of its parent thunderstorm. Hail formation requires environments of strong, upward motion of air with the parent thunderstorm (similar to tornadoes) and lowered heights of the freezing level. Hail is most frequently formed in the interior of continents within the mid-latitudes of Earth, with hail generally confined to higher elevations within the tropics. .
Unlike ice pellets, hail stones are layered and can be irregular and clumped together. Hail is composed of transparent ice or alternating layers of transparent and translucent ice at least 1 millimetre (0.039 in) thick, which are deposited upon the hail stone as it cycles through the cloud multiple times, suspended aloft by air with strong upward motion until its weight overcomes the updraft and falls to the ground. There are methods available to detect hail-producing thunderstorms using weather satellites and radar imagery. Hail stones generally fall at faster rates as they grow in size, though complicating factors such as melting, friction with air, wind, and interaction with rain and other hail stones can slow down their descent through Earth's atmosphere. Severe weather warnings are issued for hail when the stones reach a damaging size, as it can cause serious damage to man-made structures, and most commonly, farmers' crops. In the United States, the National Weather Service issues severe thunderstorm warnings for hail 1" or greater in diameter. This threshold, effective January 2010, marked an increase over the previous threshold of 3/4" hail. The change was made for two main reasons: a) public complacency and, b) recent research suggesting that damage does not occur until a hailstone reaches 1" in diameter.


Everyone knows that it doesn't take a large hailstone to cause much damage. But out of curiosity, how big can hailstones get?
While most hailstones are the size of peas (about 0.25 in [0.63 cm] in diameter), they sometimes grow larger than softballs. Large hailstones have been responsible for destroying crops, breaking windows, and denting cars, and have caused the deaths of many people and animals.
Hail causes nearly one billion dollars (U.S.) in damage to property and crops annually. The costliest United States hailstorm: Denver, Colorado, July 11, 1990. Total damage was 625 million dollars (U.S.). Hail falls when it becomes heavy enough to overcome the strength of the updraft and is pulled by gravity towards the earth. How it falls is dependent on what is going on inside the thunderstorm. Hailstones bump into other raindrops and other hailstones inside the thunderstorm, and this bumping slows down their fall.
Drag and friction also slow their fall, so it is a complicated question! If the winds are strong enough, they can even blow hail so that it falls at an angle. This would explain why the screens on one side of a house can be shredded by hail and the rest are unharmed! Hail is a form of precipitation that occurs when updrafts in thunderstorms carry raindrops upward into extremely cold areas of the atmosphere where they freeze into ice.
The National Climate Extremes Committee, which is responsible for validating national records, formally accepted the measurements for the largest hailstone ever to fall in the U.S.: seven inches in diameter (17.8 centimeters) and a circumference of 18.75 inches (47.6 centimeters). The old record for the largest hailstone had a diameter of 5.7 (14.5 centimeters) inches, a circumference of 17.5 inches (44.5 centimeters), and was found in Coffeyville, Kansas, on September 3, 1970. The previous longstanding record was believed to be a hailstone which fell at Potter, Nebraska on July 6, 1928. It measured around 7 inches (17.8 centimeters) in diameter and weighed about 1.5 pounds (680 grams).
The largest hailstones ever reported, weighing up to 7.5 pounds (3.4 grams), fell in the state of Hyderabad, India, in 1939. However, scientists believe that these huge hailstones may have been several stones that partially melted and stuck together. On April 14, 1986, hailstones weighing 2.5 pounds (1 kilogram) each were reported to have fallen in the Gopalgang district of Bangladesh.
Clearly hailstones can become quite large given the right meteorological conditions. All of which begs the question, with the current environmental changes occurring...can we expect hailstones to get heavier and larger as the years roll on?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Squidoo Page - Homeschooling Links

Just for fun I made a squidoo link here! Enjoy :)

Homeschooling at my House

Ever have a day, a week, okay a whole year where nothing seems to go right? You too huh? I'm really glad to know I'm not alone. My question is how do you take those days and make them teachable moments? Here is how we usually try to deal with it.

Upon realizing that the day is not going to cooperate with book learning, we usually spend the evening talking about the day. Why? Well, if book learning didn't get done, it usually is illness, death, something fun to do, museum, last minute needs ect... I realized a few years ago that those are sometimes more valuable then what our history book wanted us to read that day. Whether it be service, compassion or lending a helping hand, that is what real life is. If we are raising our children to be flexible and capable of handling the stress of life, under the hand of the Lord and portraying that light to the World, then sometimes the worse day, can be the best lesson.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Favorite Book for Homeschooling Information

One of my all time favorite books is Clay and Sally Clarksons "Educating the WholeHearted Child."

This is my reference book when I need to understand a different approach. I run to this book when I need help understanding my child and I cling to this book when I lose my perspective. I recommend this book to every new and old homeschool mom I meet. You really can not go wrong.

Clay and Sally Clarkson have given us a tremendous gift by pouring their hearts into this guide. They really reach the heart of homeschooling here. The ups and downs, the fears, the joys and give you a sense of confidence that you can teach your own children.

If you notice, I am not making any money off this book, which is why I did not put a link to it. Buy it where you want, off the Clarksons website, or I would suggest you don't wait another minute.

Speaking of another minute, they did recently update this book. The picture is of the book I currently have. I just told my husband I would love to have their updated book too. Hopefully he will get the hint.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Double Digit Addition with an eight year old

My daughter has been working through Horizons 2 this year. For the last week or so she has had an enormous amount of double and triple digit addition and subtraction. I say enormous because my first two kids did Math U See and at most had 5 to 8 problems that were the same at a time. I was feeling sorry for her as the big crocodile tears came pouring out over double digit addition with carrying. I decided that we should do some doubles addition to get her memorizing some of her facts. Something Horizons is not good at, but MUS is.
I came in and printed out some worksheets from my favorite free site. This takes about 5 minutes. Mind you, I took almost 20 minutes helping her work through the first 5 problems. I come back with several sheets to work on and she finished all her addition with carrying problems from Horizons, about 20 of them, in less time then it took for me to print out 4 worksheets. I figured she got them wrong or her sly brother and sister helped her. Not only were they all right, but she did them on her own. Tell me, how did that happen?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Welcome to my blog

We have been homeschooling for 7 years and yet I am always amazed at how much I love books, learning and curriculum. I love sharing my favorite resources on the web, and seem to have my share of run-ins with non-homeschoolers.

We are a Christian homeschool family, but do not choose to homeschool because of our religion. I have lots of opinions and lot of questions. I love to laugh at our mistakes, misunderstandings and tantrums. (Oh the tantrums I throw are pretty hilarious). Mom's who homeschool are not perfect. I finally got over that misunderstanding.

I plan to add lots of online resources and share all my "finds" for all to enjoy. Enjoy a little peak into our daily life with all of it's craziness. With post of sincerity, concerns, joys and failures (sometimes with pictures) I'll open up the day in the life of a crazy homeschooling family so that you can feel normal.