Wednesday, July 30, 2014

School Organization Fall 2014

 School starts for us in less than a month!  I've been working on getting organized and ready for the new school year.  I'll have two official students (Primus grade 3, Secundus grade 1) plus Tertius doing some preschool stuff and Quartus who's 18 months.  Here's what our plans are.  Maybe it will give you some ideas.


Daily Schedule.  This is going to be posted on the wall in our kitchen.
As you can see, 7:30 is when I aim for everyone to be awake and getting started with the day.  "Devo" stands for devotional.  It's our time as a family to pray and work on our scripture memorization. 

 By 8:15 hopefully the kitchen table is clean and everyone is ready for Table Time.  Everyone (even the boys for most of the time) will be sitting at the table and working on things like math and writing.  Mostly independent work-book stuff.

9:30 is snack time.  We're usually not big breakfast eaters (just cereal or oatmeal) but by 9:30 we're ready for some fruit. Under that I have posted History.   I have several word strips that have velcro on the back so they can be changed daily.  I aim for doing history and science each twice a week.  We do science and history all together in either the school room or the living room.

After lunch is another velcro spot where I can change activities out.  I aim to do Literature 3 times per week.  This year Secundus and Tertius will be doing literature activities together while Primus will be studying chapter books like Charlotte's Web and Bunnicula.

The school day officially ends no later than 3pm with snack.


 Weekly Assignments Clip Board.  Each student has their own. 
 Last year we did daily assignment sheets.  This year I want to try weekly assignments to encourage independence, personal responsibility, and the idea that it's a good idea to get the "boring" stuff out of the way first so then the rest of the week will be more time for fun.

All page numbers completed, test scores, and anything else applicable will be written on these sheets to make record keeping easier for me at the end of each month when I see our supervising teacher.


Writing Activity Ideas This is taped to each of the girls' clipboards.
I want the girls to have lots of opportunities to write throughout the week.  But I also want this to be an area where they can choose to do what really interests them.  So they're each expected to do 3 writing activities per week in addition to their Daily 6 Trait Writing book and any writing associated with other subjects.  This list gives them ideas of things to do.


 Book Baskets.  Each kid has their own basket that holds all of their individual work and clipboard. 
I got these at a thrift store for only a couple bucks each and everyone has their own color.  They sit on a shelf in the school room when we're not using them for Table Time.  All science, history, German, art, and literature stuff is stored all together in a separate location.


Record Keeping.  I'm an over-achiever sometimes.  I'm also paranoid and want to make sure EVERYTHING the kids learn or do is thoroughly documented. 

About once a month our supervising teacher comes to document our attendance, relevant things that we've done, and collect work samples.  Before she comes, I type up everything we've done and send it to her so she can pick out what she needs to send on to the school.

Then after our meeting I staple all loose work samples that she didn't take together with that kid's weekly assignment sheets and store them in my filing cabinet until the end of the year.  If the teacher wants work samples from any of the workbooks (math, handwriting, spelling, language) then they can be ripped out and given to her.  Otherwise, I probably won't be tearing out those pages.  (A couple years ago I tore every page out of Primus' math book so then she could just have one sheet of paper in front of her at a time.)

(Edited to add:) I also have a simple notebook where I record all of our group learning and activities each week.  I tell the kids that it's my brain because it's also where I write school supply wish lists, grocery lists, keep track of school money left, all planning notes about future birthday parties, list of things borrowed or loaned out, etc.




Are you ready for the new school year?

Hook's Revenge-Pirate Face

 Enjoy this lovely pictures of the girls giving me their best Pirate Face. 

A friend of a friend wrote a book called Hook's Revenge.  By sharing our pirate face picture, we have a chance to win some cool stuff related to the book.  And you can enter, too! 

Why do I care about this contest?
1) The story came highly recommended as a fun adventure
2) I recently read a book to the kids from a different author that was also set in Neverland.  They loved it!  We're currently picking out way through the original Peter Pan, as well so this might be a good fit for us.  Though, Hook's revenge does appear to be for older kids.  That's ok, I'll read it and then pack it away with my growing stash of literature for the kids.
3) Who doesn't love free stuff?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Finger Painting with Yogurt

This is an activity I used to do all the time when Primus was 3 and Secundus was a baby.  It's a fun activity and snack all in one!

This can be done with either vanilla yogurt or vanilla pudding.  We've always done yogurt, but pudding would be nice with its thicker consistency. 

Divide your snack into 3 bowls and color them with red, blue, and yellow food coloring. 


 Give each of the kids 3 tiny bowls so they can have a little bit of each color.


  A big white plate makes a great canvas for mixing colors and painting.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Paper Graduation Cap

 Finally, here's the tutorial I promised.  Just in time for next year!  :)


Cut a 9X12 piece of black construction paper in half longwise.

Staple the ends together to form the circular band.  Do it so the flat side of the staple is against the kid's head and the ends are pointing out so they don't grab hair.

Cut a second piece of 9X12 black construction paper into a square.

Cut little notches all around the band you made and fold them perpendicular. 

Glue the little tabs to the square paper.

 Once you try it on your child's head, you'll want to trim the band down so it's not as tall.

Glue a little black pom pom to the center top of the square paper.  Wrap the string of your tassel around it and glue that down.

To make the string:
Take a long piece of yarn and twist it tightly.  As you twist it, fold the yarn in half.  It will twist on itself.  Tie the ends together in a knot and it won't unravel. 

The make the tassel:
Start making a large pom pom with 4 fingers like it shows here.  When you're done wrapping, fit the twisted string you made between the yarn on one end.  Tie a string close to that end, instead of in the middle. Finally, only cut the loops far away from where you tied it.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Cheapest Way to Pay it Forward

I struggled to get out of the store after a long, tiring grocery shopping trip.  The baby was strapped to me in the Moby Wrap, crying,  and two little ones were ordered to hold on to the side of the over-full cart.  Soon after stepping out through the automatic door, a woman with a kind face and a teenage daughter stopped me.  "You're doing a great job!  Your children are so well behaved!  Please let me help you with your groceries."  She then pushed the cart while I held one child in each hand.  Once we reached the car, I buckled in the little ones and calmed the baby while her and her daughter tried to figure out how to fit all my bags around the stroller in the back of the car.

Her kind words (and many others like them over my 8 years of being a mother) really struck me.  Her words even had more impact on me than the fact that she helped pack my bags into the car.  I want to be that woman.  I want to pay that forward.  I want to lift others up! 

I'm not in a position currently to help others financially.  And as a busy mom I don't always have the time and energy to give service in the traditional sense.  But kind words are free.  Kind words are easy.  Kind words are uplifting.

*******************************************

"I'm so stressed out!  I don't feel like I'm doing anything right some days!" my friend lamented to me.  She was working herself ragged trying to take care of her home and children and dealing with the other stresses of life.  All she could see was the things that were going wrong.  But all I could see were the many wonderful things she was doing right.  So I touched my hand to her knee and said, "I've been there, too.  It seems I'm "there" often.  You are a good mom!  You're an inspiration to me."

*******************************************

"Go tell Shirley 'thank you' for having us over," my friend told her little one after a fun playdate.   The handsome boy reluctantly walked closer to me and mumbled a shy, "Thank you."  I knelt down at his level, looked him in the eye, took his hand gently, and said, "You're welcome.  I'm so glad you came today."

*******************************************

We all stood up and started putting away our chairs after the closing prayer of the Family Support Group, for which I'm facilitator.  As we worked, we continued to talk with each other about God, addiction, our loved ones, our struggles, the 12 Steps, and even unrelated things like the weather.  Sometimes the "meeting" after the meeting is the most uplifting and supportive part.  This is our time to make real connections and friendships with each other, share ideas, and expand on thoughts and testimonies that were shared during the meeting. While one member told us about how excited she was to visit her grandkids in another state next week, I noticed Jane (name changed) try to sneak out.

She had only attended a couple times and shared a tiny, mostly vague, part of her story so far.  I wasn't sure what in her life had prompted her to start coming, but it was very clear that she felt hopeless and depressed.  Obviously she needed healing and peace, and I knew that she could find it in the Atonement of Christ through the 12 Steps. But in the beginning of “recovery,” before you gain a testimony of the process, it can be hard to attend each week. Just like with addicts, co-dependents won't seek recovery until the pain of the solution is less than the pain of the problem. Many new members of the group need encouragement to keep coming back. They need to feel like they are loved and that their contributions to the group are important. I caught her eye before she had a chance to step out the door and said, "Thank you for coming.  You're right where you need to be.  See you next week!"
*******************************************

I looked down at my peacefully nursing newborn.  As a new mom, I quickly became overwhelmed with thoughts of all the things I needed to teach her.  Then my mind cleared and I thought, "If I could have her learn just one thing, what would be the most important?"  So I looked her in the eyes and said softly, "You are a daughter of God.  And you are of worth because you're His child and He loves you."

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Everyone needs to feel needed.  Everyone needs to feel loved.  

What can you do to lift those around you?  Even sharing some simple words of kindness can make a huge difference in someone's life, young or old.



Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Small Laugh

Primus: Daddy, can we play Halo?
Hubby: Halo? Wouldn't you rather read a book and learn something?
Primus: Daddy, I want to learn, but books just aren't that interesting.


I could probably turn this into a deep discussion or something...but I think I'll just let the humor of the situation be.  :)  Kids say the darndest things, right?

This is how last-minute birthday parties are done...

I've been promising Primus that she could have a "friends" birthday party for two months.  We finally had it last night.  I decided if I put it off any more, that it probably wouldn't happen at this point and planning it for a far future date wasn't going to change the fact that I was unmotivated to plan a big, complicated event.  So we passed out invitations less than a week in advance! 

Here's how you throw together a fun party in less than a week.  And realistically, a lot of this was planned on the fly just minutes before kids arrived.  As you can see, there are no pictures, because it was definitely not pinterest-worthy.  But the kids had fun and that's all that matters.

The theme was "alliteration."  It was a Pajama, Pizza, Popcorn, Pixar Party and parents were told it would be two-and-a-half hours long.

Everyone came in their pajamas.  There's just something fun about wearing pajamas out of the house.  As soon as the kids arrived they ate pizza, juice boxes, and popcorn (we like Skinny Pop) while watching a Pixar film (Up.)

When that was over, we had a few different things going on:
Primus opened presents.
Each kid was given an empty Lays Stacks container (dug out of the craft boxes right before kids arrived) and taught how to squeeze it to pop the lid off (we call them "poppers.")
The lids were aimed and shot at pictures of Pixar character coloring pages (printed off the internet right before I ran to pick up the pizza) that were taped to the wall.
The coloring pages were colored.
The poppers were decorated.
Homemade ice cream cake was eaten.  (I have two cake pans that look like the two halves of an Oreo cookie.  So I just made a chocolate cake and sandwiched some vanilla ice cream in between. No frosting. Easy.)
Some played Just Dance Disney on the Wii while waiting for parents.

When kids left they took home their popper and coloring page and a favor.  The favor was a small empty peanut butter jar that Primus filled with popcorn, a ring pop, and a fruit roll up.  She replaced the Skippy label with one of her own that simply said, "Thank you for coming."

The hardest part of the whole party was cleaning up the mess afterwards.  So that was left for the next day.  I love lazy summers! 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Summer Reading Marathon

This morning I had several mom friends over for a Summer Reading Marathon.

Pottery Barn Kids has a great summer reading program where you have to read a specific number of books to your child from their specific list.  Once you've done that, your child gets to pick out a free book to take home.

So I sent out the Facebook invites, went to the library, gathered all 14 books we were going to read, and made a plan of how to execute this in a way to keep the kids' attention through more than a dozen stories.

Then just a few days before the event, I realized that I was looking at the requirements and book list from a past year!  Good news was that we only had to read 8 stories.  Bad news was that I only had 3 of the correct books.  So after another trip to the library and some time browsing on Youtube, we were finally ready.  (Side note: if I had realized sooner that we had to do only 8 books, I would have considered making this another Tent Town.  But with how hot it is, I think it's for the best that we did it this way instead.)

To be mindful of short attention spans, I divided our marathon into 4 separate sections.  We were done with everything in just about an hour.

1. Living room.  I sat in my rocking chair while they sat on the floor and I read, "Llama Llama and the Bully Goat" by Anna Dewdney.  Then I turned on youtube and we watched "Pete the Cat, I Love My White Shoes" by James Dean

2.  School room.  Everyone held their favorite stuffed animal while I read "Corduroy" by Don Freeman after a brief discussion about teddy bears.  The second book I read was "How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten?" by Jane Yolen.  (The first picture in that book has a dino holding a teddy bear.)

3. Kitchen Floor.  They all ate popsicles (apple juice, strawberries, and bananas blended together and frozen in dixie cups) while I read "What Brothers/Sisters Do Best" by Laura Joffe Numeroff and "Grammy Lamby and the Secret Handshake" by Kate Klise.

4.  Living room again.  Everyone got to wrap a blanket around their shoulders and get comfortable while I read "Bear Snores On" by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman.  Finally we watched "Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site" by Sherri Duskey Rinker. 

Now next week we'll have a playdate and go pick out our free books together.

P.S. Don't forget to check out your local library's summer reading program and the one at Barnes and Nobles, too!


Monday, June 9, 2014

Dungeons and Dragons for Beginners

Hubby recently decided Dungeons and Dragons would be a fun, imaginative game to play with the kids.  So he came up with a simplified version and was kind enough to spend a couple days typing up his rules so I could share them on the blog!  


I fashioned this game by taking bits and pieces of others and watering them down so that my four year old son could play and enjoy. It has worked very well. On one occasion he was the only one who made it out of the dungeon alive. Of course his actions are what led to his mother’s and sisters’ demise, but the point is that fun was had.

This is an ever growing and evolving game. In the time I have spent writing this document, the game has already changed to make a few of the things written herein obsolete and now includes things which I will not include since this document is intended to be the basics. For your own enjoyment and experience, I encourage you to play and experiment with new rules and features as you come up with them, so that you might heighten the experience for your family and friends.

Enjoy!

 (Perhaps the character earns the use of extra attack die when attacking from behind?  Be creative!)

Things you will need to play

  • Two players (5 recommended)
  • A Chess/checkers board
  • Six sided dice (at least six dice recommended, eight ideal)
  • Pieces to act as characters
  • Pieces to act as markers
  • Imagination

At least two players are needed, one to play as the Dungeon Master, and the other(s) to play as the heroes. A good Dungeon Master will use his or her imagination to make the game a bit more real for the other players: tell the story of the game and characters, be the voices of the monsters, and creatively but justly make decisions to heighten the experience for all players.

Traditional D&D is played entirely in the mind, but I prefer something visual, tactile, and personal. The board creates a visual playing filled, the pieces something to observe and control. This also helps younger children participate in the game.

The pieces to act as characters would be best if they looked distinct because many will represent different characters. Some will represent the Heroes, another will represent the Dungeon Master, and the rest will represent various monster types. Exactly how many types of heroes and monsters will be up to the imagination of the Dungeon Master (I use mini figures from other games, but one could also use the chess pieces).


(Our gargoyle Dungeon Master)

The pieces to act as markers need not be so distinct, you need only be able to distinguish four types. One type can represent a character’s physical wounds, another can represent both event locations on the board and a character’s used mind power, the third will represent traps on the board, and the fourth will represent recovered treasure (I use little glass jewels, but one could also use M&Ms).

Character Creation

  • Type
  • Name
  • Title
  • Attack
  • Defense
  • Body
  • Mind
  • Movement (monsters only)

The type of character determines their statistics in Attack, Defense, Body, and Mind. I have used the types found in the board game Hero Quest as a base, but players can create whatever types they want. Hero types include: Barabarian, Dwarf, Elf, and Wizard. Monster types include: Gargoyle, Chaos Warrior, Fimir, Orc, Goblin, Mummy, Zombie, and Skeleton.

(A site we really like that gives you templates for character creation cards is Ye Olde Inn.)

Give your character a name, makes them personal. Any characters, heroes or monsters, who survive a game can return in the next. I encourage players to let any character who dies in the game remain dead, do not resurrect them. This makes them more personal, more real; thus is the nature of a role playing game.

Give your character titles for the astounding deeds they have done. Perhaps they slew many monsters/heroes, gathered lots of loot, defeated a mighty foe with one blow, or bravely ran away from danger like Sir Robin of Camelot. My personal favorite name and title come from a character played on the TV series Community: Tiny Nuggets, Water Boarder of Goblins.

(Carter the Barbarian.  She once had the displeasure of fighting alongside the wizard Sparkle the Cowardly.)


Attack and Defense determine the number of dice rolled in battle. Body refers to physical hit points. Mind refers to mind points, which are used for healing, reconfiguring traps, and insulting monsters.

Heroes move about the board by rolling a die, but monsters have a specific number of spaces they can move each turn.

Here are the various type Stats:
Heroes:
            Barbarian
Attack 3, Defense 2, Body 8, Mind 2
           Dwarf 
            Attack 2, Defense 3, Body 7, Mind 3
           Elf
            Attack 2, Defense 2, Body 6, Mind 4
           Wizard 
             Attack 1, Defense 2, Body 4, Mind 8

(This is Shirley's most recent character, Twinkle the Wizard.  Her primary function is to heal the others while avoiding all confrontations.  Parallels real life!)

Monsters:
   Gargoyle
     Attack 4, Defense 5, Body 3, Mind 4, Movement 6
   Chaos Warrior 
     Attack 4, Defense 4, Body 3, Mind 3, Movement 7
   Fimir
     Attack 3, Defense 3, Body 2, Mind 3, Movement 6
   Orc
     Attack 3, Defense 2, Body 1, Mind 2, Movement 8
   Goblin
     Attack 2, Defense 1, Body 1, Mind 1, Movement 10
   Mummy
     Attack 3, Defense 4, Body 2, Mind 0, Movement 4
   Zombie
     Attack 2, Defense 3, Body 1, Mind 0, Movement 5
   Skeleton
     Attack 2, Defense 2, Body 1, Mind 0, Movement 6


Setting Up the Board

The Dungeon Master must setup the board.

  • Place one marker on the edge of the board to mark the entrance/exit of the dungeon.
  • Place all hero characters on a square near the entrance
  • Place event markers on the board (seven or eight recommended)
  • Decide the location of traps (five or six recommended / DO NOT USE MARKERS)
  • Place initial monsters

The entrance/exit will represent the heroes’ starting point, or the place of retreat should any wish to abandon the quest.


The event markers will be either treasures for the heroes to find or monsters to fight. One marker will represent the Dungeon Master’s character (in our games, this is the gargoyle). The Dungeon Master must decide before play begins which markers are which. I recommend four monster events – including the Dungeon Master’s character - and three treasures.

The traps must be known to the Dungeon Master, but cannot be marked; the Dungeon Master shall have to make a mental note of their locations. This way the heroes will not know where the traps are.

The initial monster type is determined randomly by a hero player (draw cards, roll dice, etc.). Once the initial monster type has been determined the hero player will roll a die. The number rolled represents the number of the determined monster type that will appear at the games beginning.


Game Play: Heroes’ Turn

The heroes may go in any order they chose during their turns. During a turn each hero may do all of the following:

  • Recover one mind point
  • Roll a die for movement on the board
  • Perform one of the following actions
    • Attack a monster
    • Explore an event location
    • Search for and reconfigure a single trap
    • Insult a monster
    • Heal a hero

NOTE: After an action is performed a hero may not move on the board (no attacking a monster then running away).

NOTE: All actions require the hero to be standing next to the target, not diagonally (EXCEPTION: Wizards may perform all actions diagonally).

During movement heroes (including wizards) may not move diagonally.

Attacking monsters/heroes will be discussed later (See BATTLE).

If exploring an event location, the Dungeon Master reveals whether the location has a treasure or monster(s). If the former, give a treasure marker to the hero. If the latter, randomly determine the monster type and how many appear in the same fashion as determining the dungeon’s initial monster. The Dungeon Master must place the monster(s) as close to the event location as possible.

If searching for traps, the Dungeon Master must reveal all traps in the eight spaces around the searching hero’s location. If the hero wishes to reconfigure a trap, the hero must use 2 mind points (give the hero two mind markers) and roll a die. Any number less than or equal to the hero’s total mind is successful, and the trap will now explode only when monsters step on it. (EXCEPTION: a 6 is always unsuccessful). If unsuccessful the trap explodes and causes three damage to the hero (give the hero 3 wound markers.)



To insult a monster the hero must use two mind points and roll a die. Any number less than or equal to the subtraction of the monster’s mind from the hero’s mind (Hm – Mm = X) is a success (EXCEPTION: a 1 is always successful and a 6 is always unsuccessful). The effect of an insult, successful or not, is determined by the Dungeon Master. This is an ideal place for imagination. For example, the monster may get one extra/less attack or defense die, run away, take no action, or give automatic damage to hero. Tell a story for what happened and why the monster reacted that way.

To heal a hero, the healing hero must use one mind point for each wound the healing hero is removing.

Once all heroes have performed an action, their turn has ended.


Game Play: Dungeon Master’s Turn

The Dungeon Master may do all of the following:

  • Move all monsters
  • Attack with all monsters

Each monster’s movement range is given. (NOTE: if a hero is standing next to a reconfigured trap, monsters should step on said trap when approaching to attack the hero. The trap will cause three damage to the monster.)

Attacking monsters/heroes will be discussed later (See BATTLE).

  
Game Play: BATTLE

In battle, when an attack is commencing on either hero or monster, the results are determined by dice rolls. Three of the six numbers on the dice represent a hit by the attacker (these numbers are meaningless if the defender rolls them). Two of the remaining three numbers represent a successful block of a hit by the defender, and the last number represents a successful counter hit by the defender (these numbers are meaningless if the attacker rolls them). Remember, the amount of dice rolled is determined by the characters' attack/defense numbers.

NOTE: If the defender is a hero, the defender may choose to insult the attacker before battle begins. Previously stated insult rules apply.

Battle plays out in the following fashion:

  • Attacker rolls attack dice
  • Defender rolls defense dice
  • Both receive wounds for unblocked or counter hits

If a monster dies in battle, the victorious hero receives a treasure. If a hero dies in battle his treasure falls to the ground and is available for another hero to pick up as an event location.




Game Play: Ending

Once all treasures are found and monsters slain, the heroes must still exit the dungeon for the game to be concluded. During this exodus the heroes are free to viciously turn on each other so as to claim more loot for themselves. 


Now go have fun and once you get comfortable, trying adding additional elements.  Huzzah!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Kindergarten Graduation

My friend's oldest did homeschool kindergarten this year, just like Secundus.  When she suggested that we get together for a little kindergarten graduation, I was all over that!  We also included another friend so we three adorable graduates.

Each of us got to say a few words about our budding scholars and then present a certificate.


The kids were so cute in their graduation caps that Primus helped me make.  I promise I'll post a tutorial for how I made them later.

Big thank you to the family and friends that attended!

The cake.  If anyone tries to tell you that gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free (?) cake isn't as good as "regular" cake, that person is a liar.


We're so proud of our little smarty-pants!  And in just 10 more short years, we'll be doing this again for real with Primus!!


Friday, June 6, 2014

Gratitude in the Face of Adversity

This morning I packed up the kids and headed out to my nephew's kindergarten graduation.  But on the way, my van died.  Completely dead.  Did I mention that my brother lives in a rural area so I was in the middle of nowhere and the road didn't even have a shoulder for me to pull over to?

As much as I would love to gripe about what a horrible experience it was, I know I have so much to be grateful for!


I'm thankful that my nephew invited us to the graduation.  I felt so honored.

I'm thankful that we own a van.

I'm thankful that our van only died, instead of getting into an accident.

I'm thankful that we were on a non-busy road.  I felt very safe.

I'm thankful that Hubby had a bad night's sleep and therefore stayed home to sleep in and therefore was able to come rescue us.

I'm thankful that the tow truck driver got to us in half an hour instead of the hour our roadside assistance service estimated.

I'm thankful that we have roadside assistance.

I'm thankful that the tow truck driver was able to find us despite my horrible attempts at describing where we were. 

I'm thankful that my cell phone battery was fully charged.

I'm thankful that while the reception was pretty poor, it was good enough for me to be able to contact roadside assistance, Hubby, and my sister-in-law.

I'm thankful that the reception was bad because having to loudly say, "You need to come pick us up!" over and over very effectively shifted my mood and the tears that were threatening to come went away.  If those floodgates had opened, it would have been all over!

I'm thankful that it happened in the daylight.

I'm thankful that I fed the kids breakfast on the way because the extra pancakes left in the bag I had with me were helpful to keep the baby occupied and calm.  Hubby was also in great need of some carbs after jumping out of bed so abruptly to come get us.

I'm thankful that there was a bit of a breeze on this hot day.


I'm thankful that my Heavenly Father knew where I was and what had happened.  I'm thankful that He kept us all safe and calm.  I'm thankful that He gave me this small trial to teach me patience and gratitude.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Quotes on Education

My sister-in-law suggested that I put a quote in vinyl above the doorway into my school room.  What a great idea!  So I've been searching for the perfect quote about education.  Following are my favorites I need to choose from.  (Note: I have not personally verified the source of the first three quotes.)


"Education is the movement from darkness to light."
Allan Bloom 
 
"Learning how to learn is life's most important skill."
Tony Buzan

"Today a reader, tomorrow a leader."
Margaret Fuller


For a disciple of Jesus Christ, academic scholarship is a form of worship. It is actually another dimension of consecration.”
Neal A. Maxwell

Knowledge rises with us in the resurrection, and the limitations on our luggage then will not be limitations of volume but of kind.”
Neal A. Maxwell

Wisdom is the useable distillation of data- not merely its collection and storage.”
Neal A. Maxwell

Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith."
Doctrine and Covenants 88:118

"Education is a preparation for life -- and... preparing for life is far more than knowing how to make a living or how to land on the moon."
Ezra Taft Benson

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Reading Tent Town 5

We did our latest Tent Town (and last one of the school year) a few weeks ago.  By now, we've pretty much got things down-pat.

This time our main story was Each Peach Pear Plum.  Grandma Cindy then made binoculars (two toilet paper tubes wrapped in construction paper and glued together) for the kids to decorate.  Then they got to wander around the yard and "eye-spy" pictures of the characters from the book that we printed out.

 The other stories read were: Joseph Had a Little Overcoat, How Do Dinosaurs..., The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Little Critter stories, Elephant and Piggie stories, Frog and Toad, and Giggle Giggle Quack
To save on ink, I've printed the tent signs the last few times in black and white.  My kids love coloring them for me before I hang them on the tents.


 Line up the cards like this and pre-write the kids' names on them along the left side. It will be easier to find the kids' cards and pass them out when it's time.

I've learned that in the early afternoon the sun shines right on this side of my yard.  And it gets pretty hot and uncomfortable for the mom sitting by the tent.  Easy fix: turn the door of the tent around so the tent's shadow lays across the entrance where the mom is. 

 For the treat at the end that the kids earned, I made popsicles.  They were just apple juice, strawberries, and bananas blended together and frozen in little Dixie cups.  They didn't go along with any theme, but they were perfect on this hot day!  And doesn't Quartus look adorable with the cold mess on his face and shirt?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Science Fair- Potato Clock

 The girls had an opportunity to participate in their very first science fair.  We had bought a potato clock kit so I just had them do additional experiments with it and then make a presentation board (that board is actually the backing for an old bookcase that fell apart.)  Maybe next year we'll spend a little more time on our project and discuss the scientific method. 

 The instructions that came with our clock basically said that what makes the electricity for the clock is a chemical reaction between the copper, zinc, and acidic juice of the potato (or lemon.)  So imagine our surprise and consternation when the clock worked when we put the copper and zinc in glasses of tap water, tap water with baking soda in it, and distilled water! In fact, of all the things we tested, the only thing that didn't work were sticks of butter!  I was so confused.  My brother explained that it's not the acidic environment that you need, but rather electrolytes

So why is it called a potato (or lemon) clock!?  Why don't any of the tutorials online talk about making a Water Clock??!!  Perhaps I'll do more research on it later...

In addition to displaying their project, they got to present it to the whole group.  They got to go first.  Secundus volunteered to do all the talking and she was absolutely adorable!  Primus stood up there next to her with note cards to keep her talkative sister on track. 

Perhaps the most exciting part was the certificates with two gold seals they received at the end for participating. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Celtic Feast

For dinner we had a Celtic feast, as suggested by our current studies in Story of the World.  With some Celtic music going on in the background, it was a very fun, yummy meal.  Of course the kids thought it was cool to eat without utensils.

The only thing that would have made it better would be if I had warned Hubby ahead of time and he could have brushed up on his ancient Celtic history and played our bard.