Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Still at it

M in her Heritage Girl uniform!
We have completed more than fifty days! The kids are very excited about this since we are planning on having a 100 day celebration. Honestly, with only the three of us I'm at a loss as to what to do! I think I will bake a cake and put a 100 candle on it, do a few count 100 items activity...but after that I'm not sure. I suppose I will spend some time on pinterest for ideas.

So far, on average everything has been going relatively well. Don't get me wrong C has had a few major meltdowns when he hasn't wanted to do work. I have had to explain to him it doesn't matter if he doesn't want to do it, he has too. I have found overall my patience with the kids has really grown. I've gotten to the point, "well go throw your fit and when you are done you can join us." Seems to have worked.

One thing I did notice is I'm not allowing for as much fun as I had originally planned too. To some extent it is hard, I mean I still have a house to run and there is still work to be done. Yet at the same time I don't step away from the worksheets and allow them to learn in other ways. This is something I am planning on changing. Don't get me wrong most days will still be worksheets, but I want to pull out some fun activities I've come across.

My husband, who is musical, works with them once a week for a music lesson. He started teaching C the recorder and worked with M on the piano. He has also been playing with them on Djembe drums (using a metronome), campfire songs, and playground clap songs. They really love music time!

We do have lots of time to do artwork (thank-you pinterest!) There are so many fun things to make this time of year! I would love to make everything, but I'll be honest with you...I hate all the added mess. I know that is wrong. I am working on having C and M help more with clean-up, but I still do the bulk of it. I still try to do at least one project a week plus they can pull out stamps or beads anytime they want. I should try to do a little more with them. I will add the links to the great sites I found these projects on if you would like to do them with your kids (all pretty easy).

How to draw a scarecrow
Toilet paper ghost 

The pumpkins were just a combination of ideas. I just used paper plates and let the kids paint them orange. They made faces with black construction paper and cut them out and glued them. We also have a stencil (I've been buying them at Hobby Lobby makes my life easier for art, lol) of leaves, so they picked the leaves, traced on green construction paper and cut. Voila!

The trees were just some printed trees (I can't find the link I used). I then let them pick finger paints for fall leaves and they put finger print leaves on their trees (I have also seen this with q-tips instead of finger prints).


Monday, October 6, 2014

In The Silent Sister, Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager.  Now, over twenty years later, her father has passed away and she's in New Bern, North Carolina cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary.  Lisa is alive.  Alive and living under a new identity.  But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now?  As Riley works to uncover the truth, her discoveries will put into question everything she thought she knew about her family.  Riley must decide what the past means for her present, and what she will do with her newfound reality, in this engrossing mystery from international bestselling author Diane Chamberlain.

My thoughts...

This is the second book by Diane Chamberlain I've read and I can say her books keep me wanting to read more! The Silent Sister really made me think what would I do in the case of Riley. She is in so many ways left alone to deal with her father's estate. Her brother has metal and emotional issues from his time in service, as well as from his childhood.  She has Jeannie, an old family friend, and her daughter Christine who seem to fly in from out of nowhere and take over the tearing apart of Riley's father's home. I'll be honest when I say I did not trust those two for one minute! Nor did I like them! I mean did they not get she JUST lost her dad! They infuriated me!You'll have to read to see if I was right or not!

Actually, the whole book is filled with people I didn't trust! It was as if everyone was in one this big secret except Riley. It was maddening! I constantly felt like I was waiting for the second shoe to drop in the story. I can't say I was surprised by the overall story that came out...many things I kind of guessed. However, there were a number of things I was surprised about! Things would go in this direction when I wouldn't expect them too. Even though I thought I knew how it may end I could never be sure of anything! I was completely absorbed by the story! Not to be missed--I'm recommending THE SILENT SISTER!

 Follow Diane Chamberlain

Friday, October 3, 2014

Nine Weeks

This was taken during outside play!
Today is huge! We have completed nine weeks of homeschool, we have survived! It has definitely had its ups and downs, but I honestly want to keep it up. I feel so much more engaged with my kids. I know what and how they are learning. I've seen C (2nd grader) really fall in love with reading! He had an interest in it last year and somewhat over the summer. Then one day after 'school' he sat down with one of his Magic Tree House books and read the whole thing. He is averaging a chapter book a day. When we leave the house he grabs a book. He no longer sees reading as a chore or a school assignment, but something to enjoy.

They both love art the most. I love art myself, but I always press to do all the school work first. This week I did start our Tuesday with art to change things up. It slowed our day down, but the kids seemed more relaxed. I am hoping to do a lot more fun projects before Halloween! I love Pinterst for coming up with lots of easy crafts for us to make!

Today will also be report card day! I can't believe how quickly everything has gone by!