Saturday, September 23, 2017

First Week Unschooling

This is our first week of unschooling.  I had started the school year a couple weeks ago just like any other year.  I listed the subjects Sophie would be doing, and put down how long she should spend of each one.  It looked so nice and neat on paper; school would take 4 hours and 20 minutes.  I printed copies of the list, even alternating different subjects for different days, and gave them to Sophie to put into a binder.  I told her to check off each subject as she does it, and write in dates.  She dutifully took the papers, even though she was not thrilled about starting the school year.  But she did have fun decorating her binder with cool Zen Doodle art!

For the first two weeks of September I let Sophie pick the order, and I had high hopes that everything would get done everyday-not like last year.   Some were fun for her, like listening to a book on CD with me while we colored, a geography game, drawing, or silent reading.  School ended up taking from about 9-5 each day!  I  wanted her to get everything done early, so she could spend the afternoon doing what she wanted to do, so I tried pushing harder.

What was happening was, she would get into writing a story,  making a website for her future coffee house business,  making jewelry, or baking cookies for her friends.  Or she would get really into a good book and not want to stop reading.  I would have to keep telling her to get back to her schoolwork; that she could do those things after school.  So she would pull out her math book, for example,  and it would take over an hour to do.  Then I would sit with her for each problem, but that wasn't helping.  She would get many of the problems wrong, even though she knew how to do it.  Her mind was just not engaged.

Going from one thing to the next just because she is "supposed" to learn certain things by a certain time, is just not working for her.  When she has the time to think about what she is interested in learning,  she really learns it.  Not just learn it to get through it, but to really enjoy the process, to open her mind and think deeply. Real learning has been happening this week, and it's so exciting!



Tuesday, September 19, 2017

What I did today


  • made granola
  • typed a blog post
  • took a bike ride
  • finished knitting a dish cloth
  • washed two loads of laundry-hung one out to dry
  • read Sophie's story
  • made salsa
  • helped Sophie with a photography assignment
  • made grilled cheese sandwiches w/tomato soup
  • read
  • washed 2 sink fulls of dishes
  • vacuumed the living room rug
  • took Christian to teen homegroup
  • colored while listening to a podcast
  • made taco salad
  • watched Anne with an E with Sophie
I love my life!

Monday, September 18, 2017

audio books, crocheting, and cleaning

Today Sophie and I  spent the morning listening to Extra Credit by Andrew Clements.   While listening to books on CD we usually color or draw, but lately I've been knitting dish clothes. Sophie decided to try crocheting again.  I was thrilled because I know it's something she will enjoy, but I didn't push her get it like I have in the past. And she pretty much figured it out on her own, with just a little guidance from me. Later when Christian was watching a drawing lesson on YouTube, Sophie listened to Short by Holly Goldburg Sloan with head phones while I read a John Holt book.  They both worked on their VLACS courses.

Sophie came with me in the afternoon when I cleaned a friends home. Sophie was going to help with the dog, and maybe do some dishes, but she ended up happily working with me almost the entire 4 hours we were there!  It was really a blessing. We got twice as much done as I would have alone. She washed dishes, dusted everything, organized, mopped and folded laundry.  While we were there, she listened to The Landry News by Andrew Clements, twice through!   Christian got some exercise biking to bring us supplies.


Friday, July 14, 2017

July Daybook

For Today

Looking out my window...it's raining. It's also cold for a July day. 

I am thinking...about the road trip/camping trip we will be taking at the end of the summer with my older kids. We are having a planning meeting this weekend. 

I am thankful...for my home, for my family and friends, that my children are happy and healthy, and that God is for me!

One of my favorite things...is hearing my children laugh. Sophie is upstairs with her friend Hannah this morning, and they have been laughing and laughing! Christian has a great laugh, too! He often bursts out laughing over something he's reading, watching, or just thinking about.  

I am creating...cloth napkins! I had this material and I occasionally used it as a table cloth.  We've stopped buying napkins and paper towels, so I made these!


I am wearing...jeans and a T-shirt. I had on shorts and a cute sleeveless shirt because I thought we might go to the lake again today, but it's going to rain all day. 

I am reading ...
Hard Times in Paradise: An American Family's Struggle to Carve Out a Homestead in California's Redwood Mountains by David and Micki Colfax (They also wrote Homeschooling for Excellence -the first homeschooling book I read), No Impact Man by Colin Beavan, and Zero Waste Home: The ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your waste by Bea Johnson


I am hoping...that the dance we have been practicing for church goes well.  I'm sure it will!  I'm excited that we will be performing in a few weeks!  

I am learning...that I can live with less, and that buying things won't ever make me happier. I'm also learning a lot about our plastic problem, and that I can make a difference by simply bringing my own water bottle and using reusable cloth bags at stores. 

In my kitchen...I have joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm, and we get fresh vegetables every other week. This week we have been snacking on sugar snap peas and cucumbers. Last night I used swiss chard ( which I had never had before), summer squash, and basil in a zucchini frittata. It was so yummy! Sophie and her friend Hannah loved it!


In the school room...Christian only has the final test to do and then he will be finished with his VLACS creative writing class. Then only a couple weeks left of Advanced Algebra and 11th grade will be completed!  

In my garden...we have jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, cilantro,  sugar snap peas, cucumber, lettuce, one onion (the others didn't make it), and oregano.


A moment from my day

Check out more Daybooks at thesimplewoman.blogspot.com.




Saturday, April 29, 2017

Some Other Things We've Been Doing

We have been doing other things besides decluttering and organizing.


Sophie is working on her bullet journal.  Next to her you can see the 1000 piece puzzle we are putting together.


                                                                  I made an apron!


             We visited friends out in the country. Their animals greeted us as we got out of the car!


Christian learned Power Point this week.  He got an A+ on a project  he worked on for Theater, Cinema & Film  class!


Sophie made two pies for the pie auction at church. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

February & March Reading Log

Christian (16)
The Hobbit by J RR Tolkien
Saved by Angels by Bruce VanNetta
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Novelization by Alexander Freed
Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne

Sophie (11)
RubyLee and me by Shannon Hitchcock
Where you'll Find Me by Natasha Friend
A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass
Bounce by Natasha Friend
Perfect by Natasha Friend
The Summer I saved the World in 65 Days by Michelle Webber Hurwitz
The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart
The Prisoners dilemma  by Trenton Lee Stewart
100 Inventions that made History

Books Sophie and I listened to on CD:
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott 
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

April Daybook

For Today: April 17, 2017

Looking out my window...it is sunny and warm. A beautiful spring day!

I am thinking...about the wonderful Easter day we had yesterday!

I am thankful....that Sophie is able to take horse riding lessons.


One of my favorite things....spending the weekend with all my kids!


I am wearing....jeans, a black long sleeve shirt and a pink sweater. 

I am creating....a Bullet Journal! 

I am reading...."Year of No Clutter" by Eve Schaub - I had read her book "Year of no Sugar" and I liked it, but I think this one is kind of boring. 

I am watching....The Voice on Hulu

I am listening to....The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Spear with my daughter, Sophie. 

I am hoping...to take a road trip with my older boys this summer. We just started talking about it this weekend, so I'd better start saving!

I am learning.... bullet journaling!  It's a journal where  I keep track of every area in my life: menu plans, to-do lists, books to read, habit tracker, homeschooling curriculum, diary, monthly calendar... really anything!  You can be as simple or as creative as you want with it!
In my kitchen....One of my new habits is eating out as little as possible, so we are trying  to eat every meal at home. It takes more planning, but so far so good, and the kids are on board. Last week a few things we made were: crock pot chili, sweet potato burritos, beef stew,  fish with roasted brussel sprouts and butternut squash, and tortellini & sauce

In the school room....we're trying something new! For the last two weeks Sophie has been using a  Fun-schooling book by Thinking Tree.  She gets to pick books from the library on subjects she wants to learn about. Then each day she reads from those books and chooses her own copywork and spelling words from them. Oh, and there's lots of coloring and drawing, too!  She seems to be enjoying it! 

A recent photo:
At McDonald's with 4 of my kids after seeing Isaiah's concert last week.


Check out more Daybooks at thesimplewoman.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A Full Day

I enjoy homeschooling, and I know that my job is important, but I wanted to journal some of our days so I can see what I am getting accomplished. Today was a full day. In the morning Sophie and I went grocery shopping. Christian stayed home and worked on his online courses (VLACS). Sophie and I have been taking a cooking class on Wednesday's and have been learning about how to read food labels. I was so impressed to see Sophie taking the time to reading almost every items label that we put in our cart. And if she read that something had corn syrup, too many grams of sugar or wasn't made from whole grains she suggested that we not buy it. I have been doing this for years, and to see her do it, made me so happy!

It was nice to come home and find that Christian had mopped the whole downstairs!  We all put away the groceries, then Sophie and I went back out to get the last of our groceries at the food co-op.  We had a quick lunch when we got back.

After lunch Christian and I read his Biology textbook together. A couple of times I stopped and had him tell back to me what we read. Then Sophie and I listened to Little Women on CD while drawing. I copied birds out of the book "Backyard Birds of Summer".  Sophie colored while we listened since she didn't get to on Friday. Next Sophie read "Archimedes and the Door of Science" while Christian helped me do laundry. Then I walked to the new bank down the road to open an account-it ended up taking an hour.

Christian spent the rest of the afternoon editing a movie review he is doing for fun. Sophie and I played scrabble, a game that I am addicted to lately, and she beat me! We had soup and salad for dinner, and then headed over to the YMCA with our neighbors. Christian swam with Troy, Sophie played Racquetball with Courtney, and I took a Zumba class.

After we got home I watched half of Captain America with Christian and Troy. I ended up going to bed early because I started getting a runny nose. Just as I got into bed, a friend called and wanted to know if she could sleep over. I didn't yet know the reason, so I prayed for the hour until she got here.  We stayed up until 1am talking. I was thankful that I could be there for her.

State House Field Trip

Last week I told Sophie that I needed a field trip! I called a friend and we decided on going to the state house. It turns out that a  friend of hers, who is also a homeschooling mom, gives tours at the state house. We also invited another homeschooling family to join us. Sophie learned about how laws are past, and some history of our state. Afterwards we went shopping then had lunch at Pizza Hut.





Saturday, January 7, 2017

Our Week January 2-6

We had a productive week of homeschooling after a relaxing two week Christmas vacation.  We didn't do any KONOS unit studies, but we started some new things.

Sophie 6th Grade:
Math-A page a day in Key to Fractions book 4, and a chapter a day in Life of Fred Liver
Language Arts- Time 4 Learning: homophones, idioms, and informational article, and Greek and Latin roots
Spanish-Sophie started using Rosetta Stone this week and loved it! On her own she wrote out most of the words she learned, and practiced using them.
Rummy Roots-I love this card game for learning Greek and Latin roots! We have used it since my oldest son was in 4th grade (he's 25 now). Sophie learned the words with flashcards and games on Quizlet, then each day we played a round or two of the Pre-Rummy game.
Typing- Sophie is finally going to learn touch typing. This week she used Typing Club.
Science (KONOS)-  Read about Neils Bohr on Wikipedia

Christian 11th Grade:
Bible-Psalms & Journaling
Reading- Eli by Bill Myers
Algebra-The Quadratic Formula
Theater, Cinema, and Film Production-Wardrobe
Biology-Cells
Writing- Christian has been keeping a detailed daily journal. He is going to be starting an online creative writing class next week.
Art-Drawing from this week's art lesson:

Check out more Homeschool wrap-ups here!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

December Reading Log

Sophie:
Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson: The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan
Adventures at Shelby Stables by Julie Driscoll
Marie Curie's Search for Radium by Beverly Birch and Christian Birmingham

Christian:
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want to Be a Jedi? by Adam Gidwitz
Eli by Bll Myers




Tuesday, October 18, 2016

September's Reading Log

Christian (16)
Safely Home by Randy Alcorn
Wish You Were Here: The Official Biography of Douglass Adams by Nick Webb
The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket
The Wide window by Lemony Snicket
The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket
The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket
The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket

Sophie (11)
Dewey the Library Cat by Vicki Myron
Secret in the Willows by Beverly Lewis
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabstein
The Thing about Leftovers by C. C. Payne
11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass
The Secret Cookie Club by Martha Freeman
Summer of the Wolves by Polly Carlson-Voiles




Friday, October 7, 2016

Unit Study: Canals, tunnels and dams

We finished a two week unit on Canals, tunnels and dams.

On co-op day we:
-discussed determination-definition and examples
-read reports-sophie's report was on the Gottard Base Tunnel 
-listened to reports on the Panama Canal, Hoover Dam and the Channel Tunnel
-made a clay model of the Panama Canal
-painted models

During the week:
-read Bridges and Tunnels by Donna Latham
-drew picture of Gottard Base Tunnel
-researched Gottard Base Tunnel and wrote a report on it
-wrote definitions and sentences for vocab words
-watched video on the Gottard Base Tunnel




Thursday, September 22, 2016

August Reading Log

Sophie (11)
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoners Dilemma by Trenton Lee Stewart
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perolus Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart
Sticks and Stones by Lynne Ray Perkins
Criss Cross by Lynne Ray Perkins
Greenglass House by Kate Milford
The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benadict by Trenton Lee Stewart

Christian (16)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Resturaunt at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams
Life, the Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams
Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

Tracey (me)
Fashioned to Reign by Kris Vallotton
Alternative Medicine: A Mind Blowing Magical Mystery Tour by Steven Ransom

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

September Daybook

For Today

Looking out my window....It's 8:00 at night and it's dark.

I am thinking.... that God is so amazing! He provided an extra $150 this week! I tried to give a bureau away, and the person insisted on giving me $50. Then I was given $100 for something that took me 3 hours-that I would've done for free. 

I am thankful....that I still have kids at home!

One of my favorite things....reading a good book outside on a beautiful day, while my kid's ride bikes and enjoy the outdoors. I did this today!

I am wearing....a black and white striped shirt, a black, knee- length skirt, and flip flops

I am creating....pot holders!


I am reading.... Pioneer Girl:The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and The Year of Living Bibically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs

I am watching....a reality tv series called Married at First Sight. The couples meet for the first time at the altar when they say "I do". 

I am listening to....Graham Cooke on YouTube in bed every night (after I watch Married at First Sight). I don't listen to too many preachers other than my pastor, but I like everything I've heard from Graham Cooke!

I am hoping....to get some more part time work

I am learning....some Zentangle patterns.

In my kitchen....I've been making Energy Bars using this formula,  black bean brownies (no flour!), and Quinoa Enchilada Casserole. My daughter likes all of these new recipes-especially the brownies!

In the school room....Sophie is doing a unit study on tunnels, dams, and canals.  Christian just started an online course called Theater, Cinema & Film Production.

A moment from my day
My beautiful Sophie!
Check out more  The Simple Woman's Daybook posts here!