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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

One month down, 11 years 11 months to go!

So we're done with our first month of "real" homeschooling and things are going swimmingly. We keep a pretty loose schedule where we try to hit 10 minutes each day of various subjects, and then spend a couple of hours reading (which we rarely do... we're pretty good at 1 hour, though). We also have "special" activities every day where we focus on one subject, so Monday is "Religion Day", Tuesday is "Arts and Crafts Day", Wednesday is "Science Day" and so on. I try to plan these to be hands on, experiential learning activities, and they seem to be a fan favorite so far. They usually run half an hour to an hour. Then there's all sorts of "informal" learning. I've learned that when you're looking for opportunities to teach your children, they seem to crop up everywhere. In my opinion, the kids are learning more from this type of learning than anything else, because they don't know they're being taught so their defenses are down (sneaky, sneaky).

Arrgh, me matey! Where'd me marshmallows go?
On Tuesdays and Thursdays we send Evelyn over to Kaiser Elementary to do Art, Music, and PE. This is really working out because it gives her time to socialize and have fun with new friends, and Katie a break from having all four kiddos around. Our only hiccup with homeschooling came the first day we took Evelyn to school. She had such a good time, she asked Katie "Can you ask Daddy if I can go to school every day?" That about broke my heart. I want my little girl to be happy, and I know she's hyper social, so sending her to school every day would be good for her in that way. We talked about it, and we're still trying to figure it out. We're thinking maybe half a day twice or three times a week. The great thing is that our school is very supportive and has told us that we can basically utilize the school in whatever way we feel is appropriate. So we'll figure it out.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? I don't know, but it's in 3-D!
I should have taken pictures of some of the projects we've done, but I didn't. I'll repent and do better. All in all this has been a great month. The kids have learned lots and have lots more to learn, and the same can be said about me. It's a grand adventure...
Just a little something to make the other fellas jealous. She's mine, boys... HA HA HA HA!

Sorry for the random pics, but I needed a way to keep you interested. I promise I'll try to not do many of these "wordy" posts. I know you just want to see the kids doing crazy, funny, cute, and stupid things when you come here, so I'll do my best to oblige.

I'd swallow it if I could...

So there you have it. Life is good, despite the struggles. Onward and forward!

"The sheets were softer in heaven, but this'll do..."

Friday, August 30, 2013

Get Me Off This Ride...

You see it all the time on YouTube and all your other favorite "How much time can I waste?" websites and tv shows...

... and yet when it's your kid, it's SO much more entertaining.

Man, it's moments like this that you live for. I can't wait until he's 40 years old and we pull out this video. Talk about fun family memories. Thanks for making us laugh, little buddy!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Games for Kindergartners

One of the fun things about homeschooling is that I get to sit down each night and decide what to teach the kids the next day. Part of that is scouting out fun computer games for them to do while I'm away at work. I'm not going to lie, I think I enjoy the games more than the kids do. I know what you're thinking... "That Justin, he just likes the games because they're so easy, and it makes him feel smart and important to beat them." Okay, so you've got me; I do like that. But sometimes you come across a game and think, "Are these people for real?" Here is one such game (click the caption to go play for yourself):

Balls and Boxes

Are you serious? For KINDERGARTNERS? I can't even get past the 3rd level!! Show me a kindergartner who can keep up with this electronic hustler, and I'll show you a kindergartner I'm taking to Vegas with me next weekend.

I hope you enjoy the game... I sat there for about 30 minutes cursing at the computer every time I chose the wrong box... and loving every minute of it. You know what they say... "A game a day keeps the Alzheimers away!"

Keep those brains a workin'!

UPDATE: I just made it to Level 5, but I completely guessed on Level 4 and the gods smiled down upon me. I don't know who reads this, but if you're out there, I want to know how far you can get in this confounded game. WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME?!?

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Face Painting Anteaters...

Somehow we discovered that using dry-erase markers as face paint is a GREAT idea. It goes on smooth and, remarkably, comes off just as easy. Now, before you go marking your face all up, make sure you do a test with YOUR markers somewhere it's not likely to be noticed (I'll leave it to you to pick the spot). But OUR markers ROCK! They go right on, and come right off. Here's a couple of the faces the kids have done over the last little while:

Cutie Pie!

Tiger Boy!

Uhhh... Superpurpulicious Sweetie? 

As you can see, we've been having lots of fun. The first time I saw them do it, I about lost it... seriously, guys - MARKER ON YOUR FACE!?!? Then they showed me how easy it came off and I was like, "Dang, Gina! How come my parents never let me draw on MY face with a dry-erase marker?"

We've also been having fun with our new chore charts. A.J.'s chore was to clean the floor. I'm not sure this is what Katie had in mind when she assigned it to him:

Like I say in the video, as far as I'm concerned, that counts for sweeping AND mopping. Good job, little man! Bathrooms are next (I kid!).

Have a good one and remember, be GOOD, have FUN, and always be LEARNING!