Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Extreme Make-Over: Bunk Bed Edition

So, let's say that you are a three-year-old boy. Let's say that you need a change in your bedroom. Maybe you're not content with having a plain pine bunk-bed. What do you think the answer is? How can you transform your bed on a budget?

The aha! moment hits - why not use crayon? It's cheap, comes in many colors, and covers well.

Here is the result of your hard work. Actually it is the result of JOH's hard work.

On a somewhat related note. Does any one know how to get crayon off of pine?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Whaddya mean - NO HYPERSPACE??

The Mars-500 unit is experimenting with volunteers to study how the human body will respond to the stresses of long term isolation. The volunteers will be isolated in a spaceship sized unit for 500 days so that scientists can get a realistic look of how things would go on a manned trip to the planet Mars.

I was explaining all this to my daughters as we read the news together this morning. My oldest asked me, "Why does it need to take that long? Can't they just go into hyper-space?" It looks like someone has been watching a leeeetle bit too much Star Wars.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Alpaca Show

I took Deuce, Three, Jack and Four of Hearts to the Alpaca show today. I don't think that before today they even knew what an alpaca was. Now they are clamoring to have one. I don't think I knew that they came in so many varieties. They seem like very friendly animals, although one breeder said that it was because they were bored.

The favorite were the black alpacas. We purchased some black alpaca wool to make Deuce a sweater, when I finish the one I am working on now. It is unbelievably soft. Kind of like cashmere crossed with angora. I can't wait to knit with it.

For now, here are some pictures from the show.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Simple Pleasures: Stick People

Simple Pleasures: Stick People: "Here is our stick family, courtesy of ourstickfamily.com"

Our Stick Figure Family

We like stick figures!!

Here is the 7 of Hearts family, courtesy of ourstickfamily.com (ht Simple Pleasures)

A Little Healthy Competition

Deuce is a math girl. She is not, however, a pencil to paper, do the problem girl. As a result, when given a set of problems, she isn't likely to do a nice job writing the answers in a way that anyone can read them. When given a word problem, she isn't likely to write out the problem, solve the problem and answer the question. We struggle daily with this.

Well, she has friend that is about 6 months younger, and up to now, Deuce has been a little bit ahead. Well, her friend, who also uses Singapore Math - the same as us, has begun the same book that Deuce is using. I mentioned that fact to her today. Interestingly, she took a sudden interest in doing her math.

I have a feeling that this will work for us!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

8 Reasons I Love Homeschooling

To be honest, I've always homeschooled, even though I was in school. Now it is my children's' turn, although they don't have the detriment of institutionalization to hold them back.

My 8 reasons:

1. Socialization - Everyone's heard it, here's my spin on the "S-question." My kids know how to get along with each other, and how to behave in public. Whenever I take them anywhere - the doctor's office, the post office, the grocery store - I always get complimented on the good behavior of my children. Even when I feel like I am stretched to the limit with their shenanigans, to the outside, they are behaving so well that perfect strangers have to comment on their excellent behavior. The ps kids we observe aren't usually so well behaved, and I think that having the children together, in close contact with each other, means they either are going to have to get along one way or another.

2. Music - With budget cuts and so on, we have the opportunity here to cultivate my children's musical talent. I have 2 kids who play instruments, and the 3rd has already expressed an interest in piano, so soon we may have 3 actively pursuing music, we never would have time if the kids were spending all that time in school. Also, I can get primo teachers - that teach at the local cultural center - at a good price, because I can come to their houses for lessons at weird times, since the kids are free at 12:30 or whatever.

3. Drama - Every year we manage to have the children (even the little ones) in two plays. We are able to do this because we aren't cutting into school time with the rehearsals. In our homeschooled world, the rehearsals are the lesson.

4. Vacation Any Time We Want To: Florida in February, with no lines at Space Mountain - nuff said.

5. Educator Discounts - If school is life, and life is school, then purchases are for school, and let's face it, every little bit helps.

6. A perfectly clean house - just kidding.

6. (For real this time) Personal Development for myself - I think that I've become more well rounded as a person, since teaching my kids. I've been able to teach myself a lot of things because my kids have wanted to know, so we've learned together. My knowledge of history has really improved, I've taken up knitting, I've learned how to make bread from scratch, I have learned a lot about the local fauna, and just about everything I can find out about the animals we see at the zoo. I've read some classic books that have always been on my "to read" list, and I've finally figured out how Algebra really works, not just doing the formula. I think that this has fired up my husband as well, not to mention setting a decent example for the kids.

7. I get to sleep in. I am not a big sleeper, but with the baby, I don't like getting up to get the kids off to meet the bus before the sun comes up. We have time to have a really nice breakfast together (the whole family), and then do some chores, before we do some leisurely lessons.

8. All the really nice people I've met through homeschooling.

So what are your reasons?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

First Post

Okay, this is the first post on this blog. I am feeling a little ambitious, but with any luck I'll meet just a fraction of my ambition with this blog. Mostly, I hope to keep the too far family updated with the current episodes of the pack.