Friday, April 1, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal ~ 7

The Homeschool Mother's Journal 

In my life this week...

I've decided to go back to school for my Master's degree in Education and I finally got the ball rolling with sending off for my transcripts and applying to Texas State University.  I'm excited and anxious to be back in an academic setting, it's where I felt the happiest.

In our homeschool this week...

Sunshyne continues to do very well with her math and reading.  She has almost completed the entire 4th grade reader (It's the Scott Foresman "Seeing Is Believing" textbook).  I love all of the activities that she gets to do with this textbook and will be sad to see it go.  Also, we were going to begin biology for the month of April and Sunshyne had already did a couple of projects on the human brain, however she's had a change of heart and I've decided to respect that.  She now wants to research spring flowers.  So I've decided to find a botany unit study or possibly do a lapbook.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated:)


Places we're going and people we're seeing...

We decided to go for a simple walk through the neighborhood yesterday so that Sunshyne could photograph some flowers and plants.  We ended up at McDonalds for a snack and so that RJ could play a little on the playscape.  We met some new friends and after we'd returned home I took a moment to think about the encounters that we had and how they impact education.  Learning how to be a good neighbor and interact with people in the community.  I thought about how Sunshyne had asked Mrs. Carolyn if she could take a snapshot of her lovely flowers.  Mrs. Carolyn escorted Sunshyne over to the front of her yard so that she could get a good shot and taught her name of the flower and how it grows. Afterwards, Sunshyne thanked Mrs. Carolyn and they finally exchanged names. Can you believe that, a complete lesson with activity with a neighbor without even knowing her name.   

My favorite thing this week was...

Papa Bear took RJ and Sunshyne to the park this week, just the three of them.  He told me in the most profound and heartfelt way when he returned, how much he enjoyed spending time with the children.  He talked about how the memory would stay with him always and how good he felt that he had the opportunity to do so.  Then he thanked God for them and me for having them for him.  Needless to say I was deeply touched.  It was my absolute favorite thing this week.

What's working/not working for us...

Homeschool gym is the best!  It's held a local community center and free to homeschoolers.  It's a great way for kids to let off some steam, make new friends, and learn how to be team players.  I think it's great and did I mention it's free!  Totally works for us.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...

My thoughts this week are still circling around homeschool graduations and planning my sons.  I'm also getting more and more anxious thinking about him moving to Houston to attend school in June.  It's exciting but there's this part of me that is afraid to let go.  My mother always says that God is not the author of fear so I try to be brave but something in me just keeps questioning...if that makes sense.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...

This is the cheesecake that Sunshyne and I baked Wednesday.  It was fabulous!  It's Paula Deen's Aunt Peggy's Cheesecake with Praline Topping recipe.  We changed the graham cracker crust to use some of the leftover Dulce De Leche Girl Scout cookies that we had.  Sunshyne took these pictures all by herself.
We learned a lot together and had a great time making these delicious dessert!

Well that's it for me. How did your week go?  Let us know and link up over at The Homeschool Chick's The Homeschool Mother's Journal.  See you there!

Claudea B.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street

Do you remember being a kid and wanting to actually go to Sesame Street?  It seemed like such a magical place, yet so real.  It had to be out there somewhere!  Unfortunately, no one that I knew actually knew how to get there other than to tune in to PBS (whenever the bunny ear TV antenna's were working or the wire hanger:).  I always looked forward to learning something new or just practicing the skills that I'd already learned.  As I got older, I just enjoyed watching the show.  It was like going to visit old friends.

I decided to share some of those nostalgic learning experiences with my kiddos today, as well as with you!
First of all, the most memorable moments of the Sesame Street for me, was the opening theme song.  I loved the classic version but hadn't seen the very first version before today.  Fortunately for me it was on You Tube...You Tube Rocks!!! 


Gotta love this!

I had many, many favorite songs and characters on Sesame Street but it would take all day to find and post them all, so I'm just going to post a few of my most favorite and memorable segments.
One of them is the number song from the animated pin ball machine.

One of these kids is doing his own thing....can you guess which one???

Do you know how things begin?  Lets watch and learn!

Well it wouldn't be a Sesame Street post if I didn't include the Rubber Duckie song, so here it goes.

I hope this post brought back some warm and wonderful memories for you the same as it did for me.  I enjoyed reliving all of the memories and making new ones with my kiddos.  My youngest one, RJ, loved the number song and loved watching him move his body to the music of something I watched when I was little.
Well It's time to say goodbye...have a fabulous Wednesday!

Let's close with one last video, the ending segment of our beloved Sesame Street!

My Wednesday Walk Down Memory Lane. To see more please visit The Goodwin Family Blog, while you're there link up your own memory post...I'd love to read it!

Claudea B.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Breakfast In Bed...On a Weekday!

Do you see that cute little girl in the picture?  Well that is my Sunshyne and she is the sweetest daughter that I could have ever imagined having.  I'm going to tell you a little story about a touching event that, despite how small the gesture may seem, was he biggest and best moment of the entire month for me.

I awoke this morning a little grumbly from a week of broken sleep and overwhelming fatigue.  I'd know that the past few weeks have been difficult for my Sunshyne as well.  Since we moved into our new home her cat, Saturday, has had to bunk with Sunshyne at night and has not been sleeping well.  In fact, Sunshyne has reported to me that he will wake up around 4:00am and want to play.  He starts slapping her with his paws and jumping from dresser to bed and then back again, all in the effort to keep himself entertained in the wee hours of the morning.  As a result, my Sunshyne has waken up just about every morning, some mornings in tears, from shear fatigue.

This is Saturday by the way

Take a look at those mischievous eye...

So imagine my surprise when I received a knock on my door, immediately after I opened my eyes to the world (almost as if timed precisely).  It was my Sunshyne with this delicious treat in hands.

She said, in the sweetest little voice, "good morning mama, I made you breakfast in bed."  As I wiped my sleepy eyes with a big smile on my face I gave her the biggest most appreciative "thank you baby" that I could muster.

What could I have possibly done to deserve such a wonderfully, thoughtful little girl???  I must have been really good at some point in time:)

Here's a better picture, but as you can see I have three microwave-type pancakes (very delicious) with Mrs Butterworth syrup (my favorite), a nutritious orange, and a refreshing glass of my favorite Minute Maid Fruit Punch juice, which I'd drunk before I had the fore-thought to take these pictures (I was REALLY thirsty).
She's lined the tray with a woven place mat and set it with my best silverware...How thoughtful!

How selfless of her to think of me and how rough my mornings have been from broken sleep, to put aside her own grief and think about me.  This was such a touching gesture that I just had to share it with all of you.  I know that I'm a better person from having experienced this type of love, it makes me want to show the same love for someone else.  Mainly my Sunshyne, but to also apply that lesson in my life and try harder to display acts of selflessness to never know who truly needs that act to touch their lives.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Claudea B.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal ~ 6

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week...

I've been a VERY lazy girl!  I haven't hung a single picture or organized anything.  I cooked though, big shout out to The Pioneer Woman for her Chicken Cacciatore recipe...soooo good!  Anyway, we've had several "relaxed" homeschool days.  I think I was finally coming down from all the work we've been doing the past three weeks.

In our homeschool this week...

 I've began plannng Charlie Brown's graduation ceremony and celebration. Whooohoo, I'm totally excited about it. I've decided to do something for him at home.  I'm doing a small ceremony, immediately followed by a reception style party.  I'm currently planning the menu and looking for ideas for the cake.  I've already set the date and time so I can order the invitations next week.  The photographer that I absolutely LOVE is way too expensive for us to hire right now so I'm looking for an alternative solution for this problem.  I could possibly take some photos myself and pray I can use Photoshop efficiently enough for them to look professional.
Anybody else have a graduating senior this year? I would love to know what your plans are for your graduates ceremony/celebration.

Places we're going and people we're seeing...

No place special this week...lazy (remember).

My favorite thing this week was...

Watching the kiddos hang out on the back patio with our dog Rahshee (for school purposes I will call it recess).  I loved the fuzzy feeling that I had while I prepared our dinner and gazed out of the big picture window at them.  Felt like on of those Cambell soup commercials when I was a kid.

What's working/not working for us...

Spelling!  I don't know what it is but I can not seem to find my groove to keep up with spelling lately.  Spelling is a required subject to teach in Texas so I'm always beating myself up when I fall off track.  Thank goodness our state just requires that it's taught and doesn't not mention how often...hehehe.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...

Any good spelling programs out there (the obvious questions I should be asking, right?), one that I don't have to stand around repeating spelling words for to give a test?

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...

Well, that's my weekly wrap-up.  To read other Homeschool Mother's Journals please visit The Homeschool Chick.  Thanks so much for stopping by.
Have a phenomenal Friday!

Claudea B.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

For the Over 30 Crowd

Yesterday my husband read an email to me that my Mother-in-Law sent him.  It is one of those chain emails that I hate to get, but I seriously could not stop laughing with this one.  I found myself constantly saying "yeap, that's right" and "that's how it was when I was coming up." 

I decided to share it with you this morning but I won't require that you send it to any of your friends;)

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning.... Uphill... Barefoot... BOTH ways...yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

But now that I'm over the ripe old age of forty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a Utopia! And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don't know how good you've got it!

1) I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!

2) There was no email!! We had to actually write somebody a letter - with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox, and it would take like a week to get there! Stamps were 10 cents!

3) Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to kick our behinds! Nowhere was safe!

4) There were no MP3's or Napsters or iTunes! If you wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the record store and shoplift it yourself!

5) Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning !!! There were no CD players! We had tape decks in our car. We'd play our favorite tape and "eject" it when finished, and then the tape would come undone rendering it useless. Cause, hey, that's how we rolled, Baby! Dig?

6) We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal, that's it!

7) There weren't any cell phones either. If you left the house, you just didn't make a call or receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your "friends". OH MY GOSH !!! Think of the horror... not being in touch with someone 24/7!!! And then there's TEXTING. Yeah, right. Please! You kids have no idea how annoying you are.

8) And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your parents, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, the collection agent... you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

9) We didn't have any fancy PlayStation or Xbox video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like 'Space Invaders' and 'Asteroids'.. Your screen guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination!!! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen.. Forever! And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

10) You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on! You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your behind and walk over to the TV to change the channel!!! NO REMOTES!!! Oh, no, what's the world coming to?!?!

11) There was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled12) And we didn't have microwaves. If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove! Imagine that!

13) And our parents told us to stay outside and play... all day long. Oh, no, no electronics to soothe and comfort. And if you came back inside... you were doing chores!

And car seats - oh, please! Mom threw you in the back seat and you hung on. If you were lucky, you got the "safety arm" across the chest at the last moment if she had to stop suddenly, and if your head hit the dashboard, well that was your fault for calling "shot gun" in the first place!

See! That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled rotten! You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1970 or any time before!

Written by Anika

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did, have an outstanding Wednesday and thanks for stopping by!

Claudea B.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Day Of Relaxed Homeschooling

We got sort of a late start yesterday.  I let Sunshyne sleep in, whereas normally she is expected to set her alarm clock and be up by 7:00am to get dressed and complete her morning chores.  We usually start formal learning around 9:00am, immediately following breakfast.  Well yesterday looked nothing like that.  Sunshyne had helped out with RJ at around 6:00am and so as a reward, I let her sleep until she woke up on her own... which was about 10:30am.  After a few chores and breakfast, it was almost 11:30am before she was ready to begin any of her studies.  I decided that it might be a good idea to head out to the back yard to kinda get our juices flowing.  The next thing I knew, I was hauling out soccer balls and scooter toys for RJ.
That was the beginning of our "relaxed" homeschooling day.

Playing soccer was the highlight of the afternoon.  RJ loved chasing after the ball.  He doesn't have kicking it down to a science....

But he's pretty good at throwing it!

I loved watching him in action, chasing after the ball and then throwing it to his sister so that she could kick it back.  He was very serious about this game...maybe I should say focused.

That ball looks as big as he does in this photo, doesn't it???

After they were all tuckered out from soccer and other outdoor games, we all sat down for some quiet time reading.

This is why I love homeschooling, the flexibility and versatility.  This is the way I'd envisioned homeschooling my children.  Being able to learn naturally, simply because it's enjoyable.

It truly doesn't get any better than this!

Are you relaxed in your way of teaching your children?  I enjoyed this so much that I think looking into this "method" (for lack of a better term) seems feasible.  Please share any views or experiences that you've had with relaxed homeschooling.  Thank you so much for stopping by:)

Claudea B.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tot School~Week Ten

A lot has happened since we last participated formally in Tot School but we have been chugging along just the same.  We are pretty much settled in our new-to-us home and have started schooling again.  RJ has been spending a lot of time outside and going places with me and his dad, that I don't have pictures of.
However, in the classroom he has wanted to spend most of his time writing lately...and so he has.

This was the first day that he showed any real interest in crayons.  I sat them out, he climbed up in the chair and took to trying to write.

He's got some real scribbles on the paper...can you see them?

He's also been playing with his cars quite frequently and that's a new development as well.

This time he decided to use a new medium and give the colored pencils a try.  Here he's a bit distracted by a truck outside, so he stands up to get a better view.  Afterwards it's back to writing with his pencil.

See that paper in front of him, he didn't write that.  He's just about to autograph his sister's work though.  He took her mechanical pencil and added a little love note while she was a way from her station.
He's just been fascinated with writing!

Well that's about it for us this week.  Hopefully I'll have more pictures for next week.
Oh, I did want to say that we have also been attending our local library for the past few weeks for toddler time.  They read stories and we all sing songs related to a theme for the week.  It's been great and RJ loves having the opportunity to see other miniature people like himself.

Want to read other learning adventures of amazing toddler's? Head on over to 1+1+1=1 for this weeks Tot School...there's tons of ideas for you and your toddler.

Claudea B.