Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer School Journals

This summer I am having the kids keep a journal.  I should say journal rather loosely because I really don't care what they write about - I just want them to write.  My13 yr old asked if she could write a story - not exactly a journal - but that's fine.  We've been a bit inconsistent but are finally getting into a rhythm (probably didn't help that this normally very scheduled momma didn't make a summer school schedule...until now :) )

This is what we are doing:
  1. Kids journal T, W, TH, F
    1. Length is determined loosely by grade/age.  By the end of summer everyone will be writing at least a paragraph.  Older kids are already doing that.
  2. Corrections
    1. They get to choose which entry I will correct.  I don't want them holding back on length because they know they will be required to rewrite one.  I don't care if they choose the shortest.  It's all about punctuation, spelling, sentence structure, etc.
    2. They hand their books in to me to peruse/correct over the weekend.  I will make note of spelling errors to be addressed on a separate list.
    3. On Monday they rewrite the chosen entry with all the corrections.
  3. Most of the kids include pictures.  I enjoy looking at them.  I love seeing what is important to them.  I've seen drawings of our new (used) lawn tractor, chickens, and Menards!
We're also working on reading and math....but that's a different story.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Birthday Week

3 of our kids have birthdays within 5 days of each other.

Happy 9th Birthday Wyatt!

Happy 11th Birthday Henry!

Happy 13th Birthday Terese!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Celebrating our 20th Wedding Anniversary

Celebrating our 20th anniversary today.

The kids and I went to Mass  where my 2 oldest boys serve every W morning.  The younger of the 2 mentioned to the visiting priest that is was his parents's 20th anniversary and gave him our names (with a little suggestion from his dad).  So, we were mentioned in the petitions (which I didn't hear because I was out in the hallway with the baby - dh was at work) and again at the end of Mass apparently the priest was looking for me and someone pointed out I was in the hallway, again, with the baby.  That's OK  - he still gave the blessing and I still felt it :)

Dinner with the kids...then watching our old wedding video.  Really nice evening :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Storm alert and map skills

We have a weather radio.  This time of year it goes off quite frequently simply because it's summer and also because we have it set up to notify us of alerts for neighboring counties.  This works great for me because I know the neighboring counties and approximate distances.

When our weather radio goes off a couple kids run to the kitchen to listen and then stare at me until I tell them whether or not it is something that could affect us (they know our county - but that doesn't always help). 

So, problem solved. I printed a state map off the internet complete with all the counties.  I then printed a county map complete with all the cities. 

These are now hanging near our weather radio.  When the alarm sounds they run and try to locate where the storm is and which way it's heading.  They've also learned that storms typically head northeast where we live.  I think it's given them some consolation that we don't need to panic everytime it goes off.  I also think it's giving them the tools they need to see if it is something that may be affecting later the same hour/day.

Hehe...I also plan to work on county recognition/memorization...a secret motive....

The graduate and the rest of us

Our oldest daughter recently graduated high school from our home school. We now have a new normal. Now her life consists of: 1. Writing many thank you notes (party was Sunday). 2. Applying for ANY job at a vet clinic, kennel, etc. 3. Continuing with her part time nanny job for a great family. 4. Filling out all kinds of college paperwork. For the rest of us...we took a couple weeks off of school. This will be the first year we have REALLY summer in...yeah..we'll go to the zoo tomorrow if you get tomorrow's work done today kind of summer school. We were thrown for a few loops this year - in the past we've managed to get done in May or June - not this year. That's OK. We are mainly working on math, reading, and journaling. It will consistent but not all consuming. We moved last fall and this is also the first year I am determined to look at the calendar at least a week ahead of time and see when my kids could invite someone over. I still hold to my "we will have one day a week with no company and I will not drive anyone anywhere rule"...for my sanity and that of my younger kids. I don't think one day a week is too much to ask. And...they are welcome to catch a ride with someone else (guessing my oldest might be getting a few requests) to a friend's house. It's interesting raising introverts and extroverts...we all have a mix don't we? Some kids that wake up and ask, "Where are we going today? Who are we going to see today?" and other kids wake up and ask, "Can't we just stay home".

Monday, June 4, 2012

Little kids: Big books

The kids were soooo excited when Daddy brought these home.  This is what I found at bedtime.

This reminds me of something that happened years ago when my oldest was about 6.  We were at the public library when she pulled a very large book off the shelf and looked at....and looked at it....and looked at it. I gave her some space and stood there watching, being VERY prideful.  Ha!  All you other moms of 6 years olds...look what MY daughter is reading.   TWENTY minutes later she asked if we could check it out.  Only then did I discover that the entire book was in German, it just had really interesting pictures.