Sharing thoughts, resources and experiences from our journey through homeschooling

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Homeschool Log Saturday February 27, 2010

Austin had a laid back day. He slept late, watched Star Wars, played with the younger kids, and helped some around the house. He played Crazy Machines( my review of Crazy Machines here) on his computer and did some art work.

I forgot to mention last weekend that Austin took a trip with the youth group from church to Winter Jam Concert. He was so excited and had a wonderful time. The Newsboys were a big hit with him. He was very disappointed though that he somehow lost the CD and DVD that he bought. He held onto the poster but the other things got away from him. I felt so bad for him but it's just a life lesson to be learned from.

Amanda spent a lot of the day with friends. Around noon the mother of one of her friends, Tina, picked her up and she spent the afternoon at Tina's house. Then Tina's mother brought Amanda back home in time for Holly(11) and her mother to pick Amanda up. They went to a magic show and then to CiCi's Pizza. So she had a great day, but was very tired by the time she got home last night.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Homeschool Log Friday February 26, 2010

Normally Austin would have posted to his blog today but we are having internet security issues with the kids computers so he stayed off internet today. He did spend some time with the paint program though, making some designs to post when he can.

He also read a chapter from Pinocchio.

Our youth pastor picked him up around lunchtime today and they went out to lunch together. This was something that Austin has been looking forward to for a couple weeks now and he really enjoyed it.

Amanda started reading a new book today - The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson. Once again I think she was surprised at how much she enjoyed the book I picked out for her. She also read some from Cats by Amanda O'Neill.

She spent some time playing Solitaire and Spider Solitaire.

After school her friend Holly (age 11) was here for awhile and the girls had fun together.

This evening she put up some wall decorations in the playroom.




Austin and Amanda
We read two chapters from The Shack by Wm. Paul Young this afternoon. We also read 2 Kings 8:7-15, 25-29 and 2 Kings 9.

Both kids did their daily chores, helped with the younger kids and took care of their pets.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Homeschool Log Thursday February 25, 2010

Austin and Amanda
We read two chapters from The Shack by Wm. Paul Young this afternoon. We also read 2 Kings 6:24-33 and 7:3-20. They watched a math video and a language arts video from Gamequarium.

Both kids did their chores, took care of their pets and helped with the younger kids.

They spent the evening at their grandparents house enjoying time with grandparents, cousins, aunt and uncles.

Austin read a chapter from Pinocchio. He also spent a lot of time on his laptop designing with the paint program.His friend Zac (11) was here for awhile after school and they enjoyed talking together.

Amanda finished reading Apostle to Inland China: The Story of J. Hudson Taylor by James S. and Velma B. Keifer. She also read more from Me and My Horse.

Homeschool Log Wednesday February 24, 2010

Austin and Amanda
We got so caught up in the story this afternoon that we read three chapters of The Shack by Wm. Paul Young instead of just one like I had planned. I am so glad we decided to read this book together. We also read 2 Kings 5 and 8:1-6.

Both kids did their chores, took care of their pets and helped with the younger kids. 

Austin read a chapter of Pinocchio. He also updated his blog. He enjoyed spending time with his friends Zac (11) and Tristan (12) this afternoon.

Amanda read a chapter of Apostle to Inland China: The Story of J. Hudson Taylor by James S. and Velma B. Kiefer. She also spent a lot of time reading Me and My Horse as well as researching dog breeds using our set of World Book encyclopedias.

She also updated her blog.

Her friend Holly (11) was here for awhile this afternoon. I'm not sure exactly what they were doing but the howls of laughter coming from Amanda's room certainly seemed to indicate they were having fun.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Homeschool Log Tuesday February 23, 2010

Austin and Amanda
This afternoon we read chapter 1 from The Shack by Wm. Paul Young. We also read 1 Chronicles 21, The Book of Obadiah, and 2 Kings 6:8-23.

Both Austin and Amanda watched a math video and a Language Arts video from Gamequarium.

Both kids also did their daily chores, took care of their pets and helped with they younger kids.

Our afternoon was interrupted by an unexpected visit from someone who may be needing childcare for her two granddaughters this summer. So while we didn't do a few things we had planned, the kids got to listen to an interview as we talked about schedules, required paperwork, and other business related topics. Still educational in it's own way.

Austin spent a lot of time creating designs with the paint program on his computer and put some more of his artwork on his blog this afternoon. He is able now to post and publish without any help from me. He just tells me when he has published something and I go look at it.

He read another chapter from Pinocchio. Most of the time I thought he looked distracted, almost as if he was just running his fingers across the words and turning pages, but when I asked him what he had read he was able to tell me so I guess he's picking up more than I sometimes realize. Yay!

This afternoon two of his friends, Zac (11) and Tristan (12) were here. Zac, Tristan and Austin spent some time playing games on the computer. After Zac left Austin and Tristan went outside for awhile, then listened to some music together. Tristan also helped Austin clean up the kitchen after dinner.

Austin also watched a few more MacGyver episodes and played Solitaire on his laptop between other activities.

Amanda read chapter three of Apostle to Inland China: The Story of J. Hudson Taylor by James S. and Velma B. Kiefer. She also finished the book Veronica Ganz by Marilyn Sachs. Her opinion of the book - "It was weird."

This afternoon she was doing research on different types of dogs using our set of World Book encyclopedias. She was making lists although I didn't check to see exactly what she was listing.

Amanda played Sally's Salon,Nanny Mania 2 and Dairy Dash on the laptop.

I find it endlessly interesting and amazing each day as I watch my children learn in their own ways, even as they enjoy activities that do not technically fall under the "educational" category. Learning happens in many different ways.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Homeschool Log Monday February 22, 2010

Austin and Amanda
We started a new book this afternoon during our read together time. The Shack by Wm. Paul Young is a wonderful book that I wanted us to share together. I debated with myself a little about whether it was to advanced and intense and decided that reading it together we could talk through any questions or issues that came up. We only read the foreword today and they are already intrigued. I think we're going to enjoy reading this book together a lot. We also read 2 Kings 3, 2 Kings 4:38-44 and 2 Kings 6:1-7.

Both kids did their chores and helped with the younger kids as well as took care of their pets.

Austin updated his blog, read a chapter of Pinocchio, and worked on his time line project. This afternoon we read part of the article Admiral of the Ends of the Earth by Mellville Bell Grosvenor from the July 1957 edition of The National Geographic Magazine.

In his free time Austin has been enjoying watching episodes of MacGyver on his laptop. He has finished Season 1 and started on Season 2.

Amanda began reading a new book today. I could tell when I gave it to her that she didn't think she was going to enjoy it. But I had to smile when she told me she forgot to stop at the end of chapter one and accidentally read two chapters of Apostle to Inland China, The Story of J. Hudson Taylor by James S. and Velma B. Kiefer. I don't mind if they read more than their assignment but I usually tell them to finish their other work first and then go back to it if they want too.

Amanda also did her typing lesson and worked on her room for awhile.

This afternoon we played several games of UNO. I was surprised that she chose this because she normally is not much of game player. But we had fun.



Later this evening Amanda spent quite a bit of time looking up various breeds of dogs online. She wants a dog very much but we can't have one right now. 
I think we had a very good day.

Homeschool Log Thursday 2/18 and Friday 2/19

Just some quick notes on these two days.

Our schedule was pretty much the same as it had been all week except that we did take Friday afternoon off because I had an interview with a family about providing childcare for a one year old.

We finished the book Rilla of Ingleside, had our Bible reading, both kids worked on math and language arts and did some reading. Austin and I read more of the articles about the south pole in The National Geographic and Amanda and I worked on her room some more. Both kids updated their blogs again.

Thursday evening Austin and Amanda spent the evening at their grandparents house as usual.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Homeschool Log Wednesday February 17, 2010

Here is a summary of what we did today.

Austin and Amanda -
This afternoon we read 2 Kings 1, 2, and 3:1-3 and one chapter from Rilla of Ingleside. They both did their daily chores, helped with the younger kids and took care of their pets. This evening they went to the Wednesday evening kid/youth program at church.

Austin read a chapter from Pinocchio, updated his blog, (actually when I was writing this I clicked on his blog and discovered that he forgot to hit publish. I did it for him so it is there now.), and did a typing lesson/game (Bubbles Typing Game). This afternoon we read more of the article from The National Geographic Magazine that we started yesterday - We Are Living at the South Pole by Paul A. Siple. He also began cleaning out the fish tank in his room so we can move it downstairs. His friends Zac (11) and Tristan (12) helped him when they got here this afternoon after school.

Amanda also updated her blog. She played the Bubbles Typing Game and the Keyman Typing Game. This afternoon we went online and looked at photos of room designs to get ideas for her room. Then she spent some time working on her room to get it ready for the redecorating we want to do.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Homeschool Log Tuesday February 16, 2010

I asked Amanda and Austin today if they liked the changes I have made in the schedule. Austin said he did. Amanda said even if she did a little she wouldn't admit it. I'll take that as a yes.

Here is a summary of what we did today.

Both Austin and Amanda -
This afternoon we read 2 Chronicles 19-20 and one chapter from Rilla of Ingleside. Both kids did their daily chores, helped with the younger kids and took care of their pets.

Austin -
Austin watched one of the Language Arts videos (Conjunction Junction) from Gamequarium, and completed one of the addition lessons from Mr. Ankers' Computation. He also read a chapter from Pinocchio. This afternoon he started making a time line that we are going to put on the wall in the hallway. We also read To the Men at South Pole Station written by Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, USN and published in The National Geographic Magazine in July 1957. We started reading We Are Living at the South Pole by Paul A. Siple and published in the same issue of The National Geographic Magazine. We will read more of this article tomorrow. Later this evening Austin spent some time doing art work with his friend Zac (age 11) and then building with K-nex with his friend Tristan (age 12).Just before he went to bed this evening he watched an episode of Star Trek.

Amanda -
Amanda completed the More Adding Practice page from her Math Skills and Drills workbook and the Prepositions page from her Language Arts workbook. She also spent over an hour today moving things from her room into the hallway so that we can begin working on a major three room redecorating project. She and Michael will be switching rooms and both rooms will be repainted. We will also be repainting the kids bathroom upstairs.She spent a lot of her free time today playing Sally's Salon on her laptop. In this game time management skills are very important to keep all the customers happy. Happy customers equal good income. Good income allows the purchase of new and better equipment as well as hiring new hair dressers. And so the business grows.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Homeschool Log Monday 2/15/10

I'm sure no one else really cares one way or another but I wish I'd make up my mind how often I want to post on what we've been doing here for home school. I have changed my mind again and decided to go back to daily posting. It is really hard sometimes to remember everything we've done in a week even if I try to keep notes.

The last two weeks have been really unproductive due to Austin's time off after his injury and schedule disruptions due to the snow. But now that Austin is feeling a lot better I've told both Austin and Amanda that we are going to be sticking to our own schedule regardless of what public school does.

So here are my notes for today.

Both Austin and Amanda

Dance Mat Typing - both kids tried to do a typing lesson but the lesson kept freezing up and not letting them continue. We've had a lot of trouble with that recently so I think I'm going to check around and see what else I can find for free on the web. I'm curious whether anyone else out there has had any trouble with this site?

Both kids updated their blogs - Amanda's is here and Austin's is here.

We were able to get back to our afternoon reading time when I read aloud to them. I think this is one of our favorite time of the day. Today we read 1 Kings 22 and then three chapters from Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery. We are learning a lot about World War 1 as we read this book.

Both kids did their daily chores - cleaning, kitchen duty and helping with the younger kids - as well as taking care of their pets.

During their free time both Austin and Amanda enjoyed playing computer games.

Music - We enjoyed listening to Celtic Hymns throughout the day.


Austin started reading a new book today. While it isn't one I would have chosen I am glad to see him pick up a book on his own and begin reading it. So I'm allowing him to use it for his reading time. The book he chose is Pinocchio. This version is 89 pages long and is divided into 11 chapters. And although it may seem somewhat below his age level his trouble with visual spatial perception causes so much difficulty with reading that for now this is what he is comfortable with. When he finishes this book we will go back to reading the book he started before our unexpected two week break - The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Great Illustrated Classics).

Each afternoon while the little kids are asleep I try to spend about 30 minutes each with Austin and Amanda on an activity of their choice. Austin's choice this afternoon was playing a game of Skip-Bo. This card game is a game of strategy as each person tries to get rid of his pile of cards by building sequential sets 1- 12.


For our 30 minutes together Amanda chose to have me watch Disney music videos with her. While this was certainly not the kind of activity I had in mind, I have been thinking maybe I should know a little more about these music videos that she loves to watch. So I told her that I would today but tomorrow I would like her to choose something a little more constructive. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Last week we really did do some studying as well as accomplish a few other things that I was going to post about. But I never got a post written about it due to this derailment. This week we have been recovering. And since we have had snow twice in the last five days public schools have been closed. Public schools closing means I have a houseful of school kids whose parents have to work no matter what the weather. So there isn't much "schooling" being done. Schools are are closed again tomorrow and early Friday morning there is another storm moving in. So it looks like we're going to have a whole week off. Hopefully we will get back to a more sane schedule next week.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Crazy Machines - Game Review

Product description from the manufacturer -
  • Create your own unique contraptions
  • Solve more than 200 challenging puzzles
  • Put your machines to work
  • Cool physics engine with air-pressure, electricity, gravity, and particle effects
  • Experiment with gears, robots, explosives, and more in your own virtual lab
We bought Austin this game for Christmas. He has really enjoyed it and I have had the pleasure of watching him explore some scientific concepts that he may have found a little overwhelming in some other formats.

Crazy Machines provides a lot of mental stimulation, problem solving skills and encourages creative thinking. It also teaches some beginning physics, mechanics, and engineering.

I've found that Austin enjoys solving the puzzles and challenges given in the games as well as the opportunity to create his own experiments. And choosing between earth gravity and moon gravity adds to the fun.

I haven't told Austin but I found the solutions for the puzzles given in this game here. He has been doing a great job of sticking with it and figuring out the answers for himself.

Just a Note

Just a note to say that I am going to post a weekly homeschool log instead of a daily log. Hopefully this will help give me time to post about other homeschool topics I would enjoy writing about as well.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Homeschool Log Tuesday January 18, 2010

I think today has been our most productive day for awhile.

Both kids did their Dance Mat Typing lessons. Then Austin did his math lesson at Mr. Anker's Computation. He also watched a video about verbs at Gamequarium.

Amanda completed two worksheets - Adverbs That Compare and Adding Nines. She also read several chapters from the book The Blind Colt by Glen Rounds.

Austin watched Extreme Machines: Military Planes on the Military Channel this afternoon.

Both Austin and Amanda updated their blogs today. Amanda's post is called Stinky Cat and Austin's is called Cool Design.

This afternoon we read 1 Kings 17 and one chapter from Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery. Then we had a discussion about how long ago World War 1 was and realized that the house we are living in now was probably already built at that time. The kids loved that, somehow it helped them feel connected to the history we have been reading.

Both Austin and Amanda spent about half an hour outside playing with friends.

Chores, helping with the younger kids and playing games on the computer rounded out their day.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Homeschool Log Saturday January 16, 2010

I know it's the weekend but the really cool thing about homeschool is that learning is not confined to Monday to Friday from 8:30 - 2:45.

The kids had a pretty laid back day.

Austin watched Discovering Yellowstone with Tom Brokaw on Planet Green. He and Amanda together watched Underdog to Wonderdog on Animal Planet.

Austin went grocery shopping with Doug. They took Michael along with them as well. Since Michael has had a rough few days including  a lot of crying and throwing temper tantrums, they very kindly decided to give me a break. I love my family.

Both kids spent a lot of time playing computer games - Crazy Machines, Mahjong, and Solitaire.

After one of the younger kids expressed an interest in dinosaurs, Austin began looking for online sites about dinosaurs. Then Doug got out his computer and soon nearly everyone was getting in on the fun.

Before the Austin and Amanda went to bed we watched the movie Safe Harbor on Hallmark Channel. It is a great movie about a couple who provide a foster home for four teenage boys. I believe it is based on a true story. I had never seen the movie before but Amanda had and was excited to see it come on again.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Playing Catch Up Again

Once again it's Friday and I find myself trying to play catch up.

This week has been very busy with new children in childcare as well as with interviews with families considering bringing their children here for childcare. It's great but it takes time and energy. It hasn't helped any that both Michael and I seem to gotten a slight tummy bug.

I'm just going to touch on some highlights and give some overviews of our week.

Austin has spent a major amount of time playing Crazy Machines on his computer. And he even got Amanda interested in the game. I feel good about seeing them play this game since it involves a lot of problem solving and science (beginning physics).

A friend of ours brought us a stack of recent issues of National Geographic Magazines. One article in particular caught Austin's interest - Redwood Trees. This has led to some research online about Redwoods as well as about some other trees.

The kids watched a lot of Animal Planet and Hallmark channel. Amanda is always on the lookout for any show about dogs. The Dog Whisperer,It's Me or the Dog, and Dogs 101 are some of her favorites.

Wednesday evening both kids went to our the Kids Worx program at our church and Thursday evening they went to my parents house for the evening.

Both Austin and Amanda updated their blogs once this week. It's far from the daily updates I wanted them to do, but we'll try again next week.

We still have some snow on the ground and the kids enjoyed a lot of time outside with their friends playing in the snow. The last two days temperatures have warmed a lot and the snow is quickly disappearing.

We've enjoyed our daily Bible reading and reading from Rilla of Ingleside by L. M . Montgomery.

These are just a few notes from our busy week.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Homeschool Log - Catching Up Friday and Saturday January 8 & 9, 2010

Thursday night we had a dusting of snow and some bitterly cold temperatures, along with wind. Friday school was canceled. Seven school age kids ended up here so we had a snow day too.

Saturday was pretty much a lazy day for all of us.

Here are some pictures from Friday.



Socialization is certainly not a problem here.