Wednesday, March 31, 2010

snow day!

snow day! sonora. soooo much fun!

piano days



The 3 amigoes LOVE piano and their teacher mrs Gerstenberg! She is so caring and patient! here are some pics of them at practice for school stuff.

pet store day




learning about habitats and animals at the ceres exotic pet store. J was a bit ols but he still had a good time. Dont know if they learned anything new BUT we do know the scientific names for the different kinds of trees now! Thanks Julie!

Rock Day




the annual trip to the rock show was a success as it is every yer. Jus tone more reason we lived closer to modesto. MAN everything is over there!

sickie poo

we are still trying to get over the yucks that we had over the weekend. The big girls are working again in their LA workbooks. Super T really likes it and needs the extra help Big M does not really need any LA program but its good for her character. :) She is already in a 4Th grade workbook and shes only in 2ND! To each their own. J had been plodding along ( and I mean plodding) in his Teaching Textbooks grade 6. He feels , and I somewhat agree, that he has "learned" fractions and should be able to go do something else. My unschoolerness totally agrees with him, BUT, the stickler mom sees that he really does not have ALL of it down and keeps making small mistakes. SO we are trying to remember all of the rules of each thing divide then multiply while reducing etc etc etc. Makes MY brain hurt! But so far the interest is still there and I don't have to pull teeth just yet. Guess we will see what to do when we get there. He still have like 60 lessons in this book before going on that's like 3 whole months! Super T is flying with her reading! She Loves it and she is OK with the fact that she cant read everything. The Drama Queen of reading had been vanquished ( for today anyway) Big M is only interested in reading and cooking. Its a bummer that she isn't that great at the later yet, or I would be out of a job!

Friday, March 26, 2010

awanas olympics




kids went to the awanas olympics last saturday. They placed 4th for the girls and 1st for BigJ! they placed all sorts of games and sports. Both team and individual. They were Awesome!

Science day





WOW what a fun day! We had soooo much science stuff! I thought that most of the kits that I was saving up on the top shelf of the library were used up and missing a lot of pieces! But to my surprise only 2 had missing pieces and replacements were easily gotten. All the other parents brought science stuff and we set about getting stations ready and lunch on the table. We probably had close to 40 people here. Didn't really count heads though. There was enough everything to go around and enough different stuff for all interests. Big M was upset that she had to wait to use the perfume kit though. She didn't want to wait while others were doing electricity and magnets. Oh well to bad...so sad! Super T was the only one left outside with the dissected frog. She was in heaven! It was so cute! she cut that hing all to pieces finding both known and imagined organs. Very unschooly...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

a star filled week......

We have had star testing the last 2 days....it makes for a whirlwind of activity! Yesterday after running higgelty piggelty everywhere we also went out of town to take superT to the dentist...so far so good. Her x-rays show no damage as of yet, we go back in 2 weeks for another set of x-rays to check again. hopes and prayers are that we come off unscathed. Also today we have been running the race so much that by behind has yet to sit even to eat until just now! I am NOT a fan of days like these. Im looking forward to next week when we can get back to real life. Enjoying the company of our family AT HOME!! Everyone remind me of these words when nest week I am complaining about the noisy children climbing all over me! Oh yeah and after testing we went to the Missoula Children's theater to have a free acting class for ALL of my kids! they even let the 3 yr old participate. Very cool!

leonardo da vinci

Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in. -Leonardo da Vinci

Monday, March 22, 2010

unschoolishous!!

that's right....I said it! a great unschoolishious day! It was a productive and happy one. Got our chores done, had time with dad, played hard, watched a video about Leonardo DA vinci, very cool btw. The house is mostly clean. The kids are happy and dinner has been cleaned up! Turns out bribery of ice cream dessert works wonders! The kids are now trying to train the dog to do something...no idea what. but they are all screaming and running and yelling buddy buddy! they are technically supposed to be upstairs finishing up the game room but there will always be messes to clean....there wont always be fun after dinner dog training exercises! Uh oh looks like the dogs gettin' tired. They are really having to coax him to run now. The time for cleaning up might be drawing nigh'!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

tooth troubles:(

SuperT bit it HARD on friday. Will post pics. teeth all jammed up in her gums. Blood everywhere. Poor girl. It was awful. dr says she might lose the teeth....might not though! Tues we go back to find out.

Oh and I cut BigM's hair by accident.....looks cute though. Im thinking of becoming a full time barber. whatta ya think?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

exploding bread recipe!

well I'm sure the kids did SOMETHING today...I wouldn't know I was at a meeting for VHE most of the afternoon. I DO know that we all went on a walk this morning before I left, we made pancakes and french toast for breakfast because we ran out of bread. Then after lunch the kids tried to make banana bread from the recipe that I had quickly written down from memory. I reread it to make sure that it was correct...looked good to me so I left it out for them. Sometime later I got a phone call at my meeting "um the bread kinda exploded" is what I hear coming from the other end of the phone. When you hear something like that your mind has a tendency to wander...to BAD places. So after I went down the emergency contact list I found out that there was a goopy, sticky, banana flavored mess waiting for cleanup when I got home. At first we couldn't figure out what went wrong! I looked at the recipe and asked what they had done etc etc. Then a few hours later it dawn in a cake recipe will make it explode all over your oven!! I smell a teachable moment! ( and a little burned banana too...kinda smells like kettle corn!)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

trip to see "exotic" pets....

yesterday we went to see some "exotic" pets in Ceres. I "" because the wernt so exotic as advertised but still very fun. The kids were there learning etc for over 2 hours and got some goldfish for the tank. Julie H. really did a great job with them. This is the first time I really realized that J is outgrowing a lot of this "little" kid stuff. He really was to old for this trip ;) He didn't mind though, he had a fun time anyway! The Kids learned about habitats and animals etc. Had a scavenger hunt and made mini oceans. Then we topped it off with in-n-out burger for lunch (a treat for us since we don't have one here in the big city. After all that fun we came home and got the house ready for a party that lasted late into the evening...8:30 pm ;) Today is a "school" day. More regular stuff. We pulled out the history pockets for some family stuff. did the beginning of going west. We will see how the interests hold but so far so good. Then the 2 older kids had testing from cwcs upstairs on the computer. and superT did some math. MAN she is really getting it now! I'm so glad I didn't push her before she was ready. She really likes doing math now and feels confident in her abilities. Now they are cleaning up from the lunch they made. J is still working on his testing. And the girls are contemplating the rest of the day. So many options! cooking. art play time choices choices choices. I will let you know what they decided to do!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

joy filled weekend

well we went hither to and yon this weekend. The kids had the awanas Olympics and today we went to the rock and mineral show. It was super cool. The kids got the loot and some popcorn. A very satisfying day. I am now hanging out for a while with my dad before hauling myself off the couch and tidying up the house for my friends candle open house here tomorrow. Come one and all to my house for candles and food! Must clean now because we are heading out of town on a field trip to check out cool and amazing animals etc tomorrow. Will post pics etc tomorrow. hope everyone had a blessed weekend because we did!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

the cookbook begins






well the girls started in on their cookbook today! BigM came up with the recipe. "peanut butter and chocolate freezer cookies" I think it needs some tweaking before perfection. I'm trying to teach the girls that less ingredients is sometimes better. Just because you have the ingredient in the pantry does not mean you need to use it, AND just because the ingredients are all things you like separately does not mean they work well together! I have let them go and experiment with different ingredients (even though I fell like we MAY be wasting food...which makes me kinda twitchy thinkin' about it) I realized that it is not a waste! They are learning by doing...which is kinda my mantra now. They learned tonight that you cant add extra coffee powder because you really like that flavor, it messes up the finished product. So they are going to try changing the ingredient list and remembering to USE the measuring spoons...I'm posting some pics to show all they are so cute!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

unschooling reading

Its so funny I cannot get my ABC function to believe me when I tell it that unschooling is a word! Anywhoo.....My "superT" is learning to read. She is my first "unschooling" reader so far, and MAN is she perfect for it! She is pig headed and stubborn and a "bit" of a drama queen. She is 6 1/2 and a little "behind" where her siblings were at her age. She is the one who forced me to consider "maybe kids really DO learn differently?" Because we were sooooo not learning/teaching the same! For the past 3 years we fought the battle of phonics and reading as well as math and pretty much everything else! I even had her evaluated because I thought there MUST be something wrong with her! But No she is just different. The door to her mind had a key, a key that was different than the key I had. I just needed to find the right key to unlock her! Well seems unschooling really is unlocking her mind. I just let go. That's all. I gave her the reigns and let her go at her own pace. We turned reading from "school" to fun! Now BigM is teaching her to read. Shes only 12 mos older than superT but she reads like a pro already. And instead of M making T feel bad for not being smart enough etc. she is graciously and lovingly helping her sound out words and sentences. I am seeing the fruit right before my very eyes! T is LOVING reading! Its not a fight....and I managed to not kill the love of learning by forcing her when she was not ready and fighting about school, which we had started to do when she was 5. There were days where she would spend hours and hours doing busy work and crying and pouting and the power struggle between us was heart wrenching. I KNEW that God was doing a work in my heart, and that T needed me to change...so I could help her grow. So here we are now. I'm still struggling with the key....I don't quite have it yet. I think her key might just be love and patience. But can tell you for certain... You CAN learn to read without curriculum. It is possible and likely that your child will learn to read all on their own. I now have an example right from my own house! And trust me....If superT can do it ANYONE can!

Hike to dino point





So yesterday we all went on a hike up to pig pond. yup you heard me PIG POND Im not really sure why its called pig pond there arent pigs around just cows and its pond shaped not pig shaped. so..... anyway we went there. it was a 2 mile round trip hike with friends and you should have seen the complining!! you would have thought that we were making march like the donner party to their deaths! Little I walked most of the way uphill before requesting to be carried. Thank goodness I remembered the sling. I packpacked him for the rest of the way;>P He was pretty heavy but I did it! So could not have done that a few years ago. We got really muddy and squishy and got stalked by a bull, saw a 2 lb toad that we played with for about a hour....man that thing was HUGE! Le learned about nature by experiencing it it was sooo unschooley! yea for us! We finished it off with a great picnic. awesome day!

fans and recycling

so we got the fans upstairs installed today. It kinda messed up my plans for geniusizing the kids but oh well! We had already read from the Mystery of history and story of the world and watched a video about recycling and garbage that J was interested in. Then I got the "call" buh buh bummmmm!!!! THEY were coming! the installers. Quick.... clean!!!! they cant see how we really live!! So after a tornado of tidying up upstairs and downstairs we made it by the skin of our teeth. we only had about 15 min. So the morning of math and reading was pushed aside for fellowship with some friends and learning about fan installation. After lunch we went to the junior college to look at wildflowers they were BEAUTIFUL! then a field trip to walmart for light bulbs for the fans topped off with little ceasers for dinner cuz its wacky wednesday! Now the irchins are reading up on their AWANAS books for tonight and I am getting ready to babysit at church for the couples bible study. all in all a fruitful day! The only bummer was I was too tired to wake up in time to go on my quiet time walk. try again tomorrow!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Im back a year later

Ok so I forgot about this blog for about a year. But I kinda like the idea of blogging our daily events. It will help me remember what the heck I did that day! So Today was monday...we had our devotions after my morning walk/quiet time. The kids got the kitchen cleaned up pretty quickly today after bfast. That made me happy as we have been working on that. Then after devotions we had monday zone chores. that went fairly smoothly and now the house no longer stinks like feet! The kids still have a daily math assignment from teaching textbooks or math u see. I would love to completely unschool but Im still a little to paranoid to let it all go. My heart says yes and my brain says wellll maybe we will see. The kids do their own thing for everything else. J wanted to build a house today but realized that we do not have all the materials hanging around for that. he adjusted to building a house on the internet instead. The girls have been working on plays for easter and brainstorming ides for a cookbook they want to make. they go back and forth about doing it together or separately. H has been working in a workbook for PK she LOVES "doing" school. I know the kids are learning this wCheck Spellingay and Im so proud of them and me for being able to let go and let God direct their learning. I am constantly reminded of his grace in their daily lives and how amazed I am that they DO learn if given the opportunity all by themselves! And when they discover something on their own they are delighted by it! It had been learned for life. Not a waisted moment in each day is my new motto. I am constantly asking myself. Is this worth the moment? Are we wasting our time with this? It really has weeded out a LOT of fluff in our days making it easier to focus on the things that REALLY matter. Faith and Family topping the list. I am daily asking myself will this help my children grow to be Godly adults? You will be surprised the amount of things that do not fall under that category.

Well back to our day. We went to the park for a while but it was freezing so we came home early. We had beans for dinner with flautas and papas. I was supposed to go to worship practice but it was cancelled ;( I am now sitting with the kiddoes watching "a world without oil" on nat geo. Its a very interesting special. It would probably make a great disaster movie! Well Im going to try and post as much as possible. And since Im like one of the few reading this blog I will see myself later!!