Monday, May 31, 2010

Workboxes for the week

Since my notebook isn't put together yet, I needed a place to outline Cameron's workboxes for this week so you all get to see it, aren't you lucky!!


HM Phonics pg 14-15

Math-U-See  +8s lesson 1

History : You Tube videos via facebook with a Memorial Day Theme


HM Phonics pg 16-17

Math-U-See +8s lesson 2

CopyWork: All Things Bright and Beautiful

Art: Drawing book (he gets to pick 1 of the books I have in the box)


HM Phonics pg 18-19

Math-U-See +8s Lesson 3

CopyWork: All Things Bright and Beautiful

Science: Search the internet with Mommy for Hot Air Ballons


Math-U-See +8 Lesson 4 and 5 (if we need the last lesson)

CopyWork: All Things Bright and Beautiful

Science: Assembly our finished Dinosaur unit lapbook

So that concludes week 1 of summer school... Looks  doable. I'm going to get my notebook put together and figure out Nathan's week tonight...

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday May 31, 2010
Outside my window... the sun is trying to peek through the clouds as the wind blows gently
I am thinking... how grateful I am for the sacrifices of so many on this Memorial Day
I am thankful for...the freedoms of this country
From the learning rooms...we are heading into summer school this week
From the kitchen...leftover lunch of BBQ'd chicken with red root greens and pasta
I am wearing... denim skirt (man I love this skirt, need to find another one)
I am creating...a bulletin board for our school central area
I am where today.. hanging at home
I am reading... Life in Defiance by Mary DeMuth
I am hoping... for a little more sun for my garden
I am hearing... teh boys watching a movie in the other room
Around the is a mess right now
One of my favorite things... fresh herbs
A few plans for the rest of the week:summer school and organizing

This is part of the Simple Woman's Daybook, stop by the blog and join in.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Summer School Workbox revamp

After thinking about what worked and what didn't work this year, I decided to change up our workbox cards and the in/ out set up.
I picked up 2 small magnetic dry erase boards at Staples the other day, 1 is blue and 1 is green. Well, that started a theme; Cameron's accent color/ theme color will be blue and Nathan's will be green (the obvious choice for my young tractor freak...).
I used some left over Creative Memories stickers again green and blue to create their workbox number/ activity cards, divided the white board with green/blue strips of stickers to create the grid, and am backing the cards with magnets. I decided to use magnets instead of velcro as it will carry through the other planning / schedule sections we are creating.
Once the boards are done I will hang them over their desk areas and include a little basket for their dry erase marker, eraser, magnets, etc.. again they will be green and blue.
I also found Avery brand tabs and such that are color coordinated and will help in Mommy's notebook planner for lesson notes and other scheduling... It might seem a little over the top but right now I need something with color and easy to put in place... I can take the things that worked for the past year and just add the color coding to make it a little easier...
I think this is going to help as I have 2 boys that are close academically... I am using Math-U-See for both boys, Cameron will hit Beta in September while Nathan is on track to hit Beta around mid December so while it will be nice to be in the same book, I need a way to keep them seperated.. Also I need to be able to make notes with in their books and know who the note was /is meant for...
I got a package of Post-It notes the same Staples trip I got the boards on ... anyway, turns out the 3 colors made it even easier, blue. green, and pink... I'm saving the pink ones for Mommy notes...
I like the color coded system (need to change our calender colors to match....)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Planning and sharing

Over the last month I have been blessed to attend 2 online expos and 1 local homeschool open house. I am also planning on attending several used curriculum sales over the next couple weeks and hitting one of the local Homeschool bookstores.  I have also been thinking alot about what has worked and has NOT worked over the last 2 years of our homeschool journey.

I created a simple spreadsheet and included company/ product, subjects, grades, cost, pros/ cons, learning styles, aestitics, and e-book as things to consider.

I am including a.pdf of the spreadsheet in hopes someone else can get some use out of it. curriculum shopping planning

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Slow Burn: A Review

I recently finished reading A Slow burn by Mary E DeMuth, the second book in the Definace Texas Trilogy. The powerful story of a woman struggling with the death of her daughter and her own personal demons filled with the suspence of the murder , the struggles Emory must face to find Daisy's killer, the power of love from the true people in her life, and forgiveness for so many demons she struggles with.  While I didn't read the first book, it didn't seem to matter, the story is so powerful and gripping that it stands on it's own. There are moments of tenderness and compassion, moments of edge of your seat suspence, and moments where you just want to grab a tissue. There are some very heavy concepts related to drugs and relationships battles that set this book up for older teens and adults. It would be a good book to read with as small book club that wants a solid Christian author but still possess a message for the mainstream.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ultimate Week to refresh

I'm having a blast this week with the Ulitmate Homeschool Expo hosted by Cindy Rushton. The Mommy Grab bag, Chats, and audios... I have been saving files to read on my Nook as well as MP3s to listen to.

Cindy has given my blog readers a wonderful gift article below.. If you are attending UHSE 2010 please leave a comment and tell me your favorite talk so far.

Quick Tips For the Perpetually Late, Disorganized, Stressed Out Mom!
By Cindy Rushton

Does this SPEAK to you?  Nothing is more frustrating than great intentions but failure with the time management, organization, and gentle spirit thing!  So, what can REALLY help? Need a bit of hope?  Practical ideas? Well, beloved, here are a few tips that have made a world of difference for me:

-->    Be sure to slow down and have a quiet time EACH DAY! Take time for God to fill YOUR cup each day. Let Him give you HIS peace, order, and best of all, schedule!  Take time to hear HIS plans for your day.  Throughout the day, listen to His gentle direction.  Be sure that you are willing to let go of the things that God wants to prune away. Without this, all else is only a band-aid!

-->    Invest in a Planner! I am the world’s worst at trying to do it all while trying desperately to remember those incredible details that are doomed to slip my brain! I decided to take a long, honest look at the things that were creating chaos. Most often, the biggest culprit was overcommitment or an underestimate of time involved with commitments. Writing down ALL commitments, along with an honest look at the time commitment involved (even going and coming OR planning the details around that commitment!), has made an indescribable impact on my life! Not to mention, another breeder of chaos in my life was constantly looking for information that needed to be in a dependable place like phone numbers, ordering information, etc. Keeping ONE binder with my information included eliminates the chaos, but it does even more! It gives my brain a rest!

-->    Evaluate to find the BEST that God has designed for YOU to do!  Sure, there are many “little things” that must be done to manage our homes, but if you are really struggling with balance, discipline yourself to write down everything that you are doing for a little while.  Pray over the importance of each and every thing. Time is so very precious. God gives us everything that we need to do all that He has designed for us to do, but He will not anoint those things that will choke out His best for our lives. So, really pray through…think through…weigh out everything. Listen to God for HIS goals for you.  Prune those things that are not in line with His goals for you. Get rid of any time wasters. Prioritize every activity, every day! Combine activities that can be done together to make the most of time. Delegate those things that others can do to help you be a good steward of your time. Then, make the most of your time doing the very best things that God has designed for you to do!

-->    Write IT down! Yep! Give your brain a break!  This may seem to compound your problem, but trust me this will help more than you know! It is NOT another thing to do! Rather, once things are written down, the work is done FOR you! For example, keeping a calendar of events in your planner will help to alleviate conflicts in your schedule. Blocking off plenty of time for each entry will help you to give yourself enough margin left over for LIFE! I may live less than five miles from downtown, but if there is an appointment there, I KNOW to give myself 30 minutes to get there! Also, I cannot tell you how much my lists from years ago are beginning to really help me! I have lists for school lessons, shopping, traveling, producing the magazines, speaking, etc. I may have to add to my generic list, but I cannot tell you how many times my lists have helped me to be sure that NOTHING was left out or forgotten. Plus, now the planning process is simplified.  I just pull out my list, go over the list, add anything that is missing, and get busy! Several of my lists are typed into my computer, ready to print. Talk about EASY planning! Find ways that you can simplify what you are doing—writing it down will probably be one of your first steps too!

-->    Keep your STUFF ready to use! Whether your planner or your purse or even your Bible/journal for church, get things together and in their special spot, ready to go.  I have a tote that includes all of the things that I need for Church. I keep it together, ready to go. Our school books stay in a milk crate (one for each child), ready to use at the table or to grab for our trips with the business. Everything that we need is ready at all times. My planner stays at my chair, ready to grab to leave the house. So on. Decide on what you need for planning, church, homeschooling, or your business. Get everything together. Find its very best spot for it to be easy to use, but not in the way or forgotten.  You will be surprised at how much stress this will alleviate!

-->    Put limits on your day! For years, I battled the different aspects of my day that tend to become monsters! Funny thing, I have never seen my family life ever become one of those monsters. My sweetheart and my children are so much more patient than my nasty kitchen! Memories will always wait for schoolwork to be completed. Laughter will always let the business monster rant and rage! The best (but most difficult) lesson of my life to date was that if I wanted the legacy that God had planned for me, then I had to diligently guard the different aspects of life. I had to consciously purpose to make memories and build relationships with those I love much, much more than a clean house or thriving business or successful homeschool. A whole day can zoom by just on the internet with the business…or working through our lessons…or even re-organizing a closet. Plus, those things wear me down till I am completely zapped! Oh, and then, I am not the nicest person on earth! (ouch—confessions hurt!)  While these things are precious and wonderful in their boundaries, I have to CONSTANTLY place limits to insure that we have a balanced life that makes the most of each day AND builds a legacy.

Need MORE Help?

How about the ULTIMATE mom-time? Yep! Check out our Ultimate Homeschool Expo 2010! Cindy Rushton is the hostess of the Ultimate Homeschool Expo, the very first online homeschool convention. She is recording Preview Chats for the 2010 Ultimate Homeschool Convention RIGHT NOW! Join her wonderful guests FREE as they count down to the Ultimate Homeschool Expo (May 3-7, 2010--BUT! NEVER ENDING because it is an ONLINE Convention!). Check out all of the details here: