Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Still plugging away...

I am still here. Sorry I haven't posted recently. Believe it or not, life with four kids is kind of busy. We have been out and about a bit more since the temps have been cooler. Let's see...

Last Thursday, Noah had his 18mo. check up. I am proud to say that he has plumped up a bit! Up until now, he has been hovering between the 3rd and 7th percentile in weight. This time, however, he is at the 23rd percentile! He is a solid 24lbs.! It doesn't surprise me, the boy eats like a fiend. His meal portions are as big as his sisters' and he is still begging for more when his plate is clean! He is still around the 50th percentile for height. I know that Carlos was hoping he would be taller, but I kind of like my tiny peanut. I think it's because I know he is my last baby and I am treasuring all the "baby" stuff so much. So, if he stays smaller longer...that's fine by me.

Saturday the kids all got promoted to their new rooms at church! It was so strange. Annie is now in the 3rd grade room, which she loves because it has video game systems! Meg is in the pink 1st grade room. I don't think she is too thrilled about it. I believe most of her friends were put into the orange first grade room. When I picked her up after service she was crying and hanging onto the teacher's leg. She has been a bit wonky about going to church as of late. I am hoping it's just a phase. Lily is now in a preschool room! She got to leave the room to go to childrens' chapel, which she loved! She's such a big girl! Noah moved up to the 2yr. old room. He hated it, but that's not unusual. He hated the 1yr. old room too. Whatever the reason, he just does not enjoy being separated from Mommy and Daddy. You would think after going to church for months he would get the idea by now. I guess he is trying to hold onto his babyhood too.

Lily and I went shopping on Sunday. It's become sort of a tradition lately. She and I buzz out on Sunday morning and do the weekly shopping. It's been nice to spend that one on one time with her. I don't often get a chance to do that. We had an interesting trip to Target. Lily was sitting in the cart and got a bit overzealous and ended up head butting me in the face, which caused me to get a bloody nose! Sounds fun, huh? She was crying because she was scared and I was crying because it REALLY hurt! I bet we were a sight! A cookie and a balloon at Kroger calmed her down and I had to settle for some Oreos. I think we both made out well.

We went to the library on Monday. We managed to come home with a ton of books, which kept the kids busy most of yesterday. They are all turning into little bookworms. Especially Annie! She is totally in love with books. Her latest obsession is audio books. She listened to the first book in the Little House series last week and this week she is continuing on with the rest of the series. We went to the park one day last week and she and Meg collected acorns so they could bring them home to use as cups for their dolls! So sweet.

We have been plugging away at school. I am still on the hunt for a reading curriculum for Megan that will actually excite her. We tried Abeka last year and she was bored to tears. We have been using Teach Your Child to Read in a 100 Easy Lessons this year and she isn't fond of it. I am thinking of trying Hooked on Phonics but haven't settled on it for sure. Anyone have any suggestions?

Well, I guess my computer time is over. The kids are finished with breakfast and begging for umpteen zillion things....must go attend to them. Until later....

Saturday, August 14, 2010

More than I expected

I surprised myself and actually managed to accomplish school several days this week! I thought for sure that we would get very little done with a house full of sick kids. Surprise! Surprise!

I am really excited about this school year! I am loving our History and Science curriculums! We opted to use The History of the World this year and it has been a lot of fun. The way this particular curriculum works is that you spend one school year studying one particular time period in history. We are just beginning so we are starting off with Volume I, which covers Ancient History, which is something I actually know very little about. I am not sure if it was just something that was never covered well when I attended school or if it was taught and I just forgot/didn't pay attention. Whatever the reason, I am psyched about filling my head, along with my girls', with all this new information. We began by learning about the first people and have progressed on to learn about Ancient Egypt. This week we will be learning about hieroglyphics and we will make our own clay tablets with our names written in hieroglyphics! Neat, huh? We will also be doing various other projects that tie into our lessons as the year progresses. Later this month or next, we will be making our own mummy out of a chicken!

We are using Apologia, Exploring Creation through Astronomy for our science curriculum this year. This is also an area where I don't have much knowledge. Sure, I know the basics but no real information beyond that. We will be building our own model of the solar system this week! I can't wait.

I am just really excited about our homeschool year! I am also excited because Lily will be heading off to preschool in the Fall. It will be her first year and she will attend two mornings per week. She is very excited. I am looking forward to the time with the other kids and I am thrilled that Lily is finally getting to do something that is just for her. Of course, I will probably sniffle quite a bit on the first day or two as I drop her off.

So, in a nutshell I am so thrilled that we were actually able to accomplish a bit of school this week and that I and the kids are pumped about some of our new curriculum choices. I will try to post more regularly with updates about our fun homeschool activities!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Good intentions

This was the week we were supposed to dive head first back into homeschooling. We have been schooling off and on through the summer but this week was going to be the start of a more scheduled, goal oriented approach. What is it that is said about the best intentions?

We are off to a rocky start. Noah started working on a cold over the weekend and it has grown progressively worse. Last night, Carlos and I were both awake a good portion of the night with one sick little boy. I almost wish he were pulling at his ears so I had an excuse to take him to the doctor's office. I am pretty sure it would be a wasted visit to go at this point. He just seems to have a really yucky summer cold. Annie woke up in the middle of the night with a sore throat and has been lazing around all morning with a runny nose and red eyes. I am also dealing with a rather sore throat.

So, no school was accomplished yesterday and things aren't looking good for today either. I am determined to get some learning in though. Maybe we will all snuggle and read books later this afternoon when Noah is napping. At least that way I at least put in some effort.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Back to blogging and back to school

I am going to try and find time to get back into blogging. It's hard! I wish I could add a few more hours to each day so that I could accomplish more things. I feel like I have been running in circles since returning from vacation at the end of June! I am pretty sure I accomplished nothing the entire month of July.

Oh wait! I just remembered that I did accomplish something in July. I made up binders containing the girls' schoolwork for the the 2009/2010 school year. That's something, right? At least now, if the homeschooling police decide to show up on my doorstep, I am covered!

I have been homeschooling off and on all summer. I decided it worked better for our family just to homeschool year round. Now we can take time off when it suits us through the course of the year. I often find that I want to do nothing between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so we may try that this year. We are also taking our Fall break in September because my Mom will be visiting us then. It just works better for us. That's the beauty of can do whatever works best for your family! I love it!

I took more of an ecclectic approach to our curriculum this year. Last year, since it was my first year of homeschooling, I went with a more traditional approach. I simply bought all of our curriculum from the same place and followed the lesson plans. This year I investigated different curriculum that interested me and did a bit of picking and choosing. For anyone who is interested, this is what we are using:

Annie (3rd grade):
Math - Abeka
History - The Story of the World
Science - Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy
Bible - Beginnings II
Writing - Handwriting without tears
Grammar - Easy Grammar
Spellilng - All About Spelling

Megan (1st grade):
Math - Singapore
History - The Story of the World
Science - Apologia Exploring Creation with Astronomy
Bible - Beginnings II
Writing - Handwriting without tears
Reading - Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
Phonics - Explode the Code
Spelling - All About Spelling

I am still trying to decide what to do in regards to Reading for Annie. Anyone have any brilliant suggestions?

So, we will be diving back into school on a daily basis with a bit more structure than we had all summer. I am looking forward to getting back into the routine of things around here. I find if I follow a set schedule I accomplish more than if I just float through each day with no agenda.

I am hoping to blog more as well.