Mother’s Journal, May 18, 2012

Another week already! I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day. Saturday was spent with family and Sunday was quite lovely. My husband took the kids to buy me some Mother’s Day cards and gifts and Drama Queen wrote me a Mother’s Day song. She played it on guitar or us at our Saturday gathering. It was a nice weekend. =)

In my life this week…

This week has been full and busy! Not so much with running around, but there’s been a little bit of that, too… I’ve done some house cleaning, some uncleaning, some more cleaning (doesn’t it always work that way?) I’ve done a TON more work on the blog and some online stuff. Thursday brought a visit to the orthodontist for Princess, for which the other two tagged along. She’s had her braces for just over a year now! And the change is A-MAZ-ING. They don’t know how much longer exactly, but she won’t be wearing them for much longer. Maybe a few months? Maybe 6? Princess can’t wait!

In our homeschool this week…

This week has been weird. By weird I mean that each day didn’t FEEL like we had done much, but when I made a list of what we’d accomplished we’d done plenty! It finally occurred to me that was really happening was this: we were getting it done faster, with less whining. It didn’t feel like we were doing much because we were just casually sitting around and DOING it.

*THUMP*

That sound was me falling off my chair.

Now don’t get me wrong. I mean, there were moments. The one where Drama Queen asked if we could skip math, and the one where Little Prince didn’t want to finish his copywork, etc. But mostly school went pretty well. We didn’t do every subject every day we were supposed to, either. But then, we did a week’s worth of history on Thursday. So it all evened out. Instead we kind of “went where the interest led,” spent more time here and there on something interesting, unschooled a little bit if you will. And once Drama Queen surprised me by asking if she could do Times Talesand Little Prince asked to play Timez Attack Addition and Subtraction. I don’t plan on totally desconstructing and destructuring but I’ve been thinking lately that if we could knock bible, math & language arts out pretty quickly, the rest of the day until snack time can be labeled school “free time” to go where the interest leads. In addition, we’ve also been printing off and using some of our Notebooking Pages that I got with my Treasury Membership. (These are perfect for us.)

Anyway, this week has been full of bugs. No, this time I don’t mean glitches I mean REAL BUGS. It’s been all about caterpillars since the kids discovered a handful of Hackberry Emperor caterpillars on the “bush” by our front porch that turned out to be a small Hackberry tree.

We’ve held them.

Looked them up.

Found a Chrysalis.

Found one that looks like it will be making a chrysalis soon!

Notebooked about them.

All in the name of science!!

This week we also learned about Mt. St. Helens, one of our interest-led moments after the volcano was mentioned briefly in our bible lesson. We looked up the history, before and after pictures and watched this interesting youtube video. Speaking of volcanoes, Mt. St. Helens, and earthquakes — did you know that the ancient Chinese in the Han dynasty (about 200 AD to 200 BC) invented the first seismograph? We learned that in history, as well as embarking on a journey through the rise of the Roman Empire with Julius Caesar and Cleopatra. History is REALLY getting exciting now!!

My favorite thing this week was…

Not one that has happened yet.. Tonight I have a mother/daughter date with Princess – one I owe her for her birthday and which we’re just now working out the details of. I’m very much looking forward to this!

What’s working/not working for us…

Working: Paying more attention to learning opportunities of “the moment.” You know, those opportunities like when your daughter asks if you can plant and grow avocado seeds? “Why YES. Yes, you can!” We now have two avocado seeds in dirt outside and an avocado seed in a water glass in our window sill. Next to the chrysalis. =)

It’s also why I said “yes” when my son asked if we could have Hot Dog Octopi for lunch. 😉 He helped me make them, which didn’t involve a lot of learning, necessarily, but gave us a moment of fun cooking together. Who says I don’t know how to lighten up and have fun?? 😉

Questions/thoughts I have…

Thought for the week: I will never ever stop growing and learning! I learn new things all the time. I become a better homeschool teacher and mom with every passing day (as long as I apply myself to grow and learn that is.) There’s no “arriving” on this, only continual growth! And I do so learn enjoying along with my children! And I still have so much to learn.

Things I’m working on…

The blog. You knew that was coming, right?

I’m reading…

I’m now in Isaiah 13! A little bit behind my schedule but plugging along. I haven’t yet read the chapter for our ladies’ bible study since it was postponed this week, oops!!

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

A little bit of linky love for you:

Homeschool Mother’s Journal is hosted by the iHomeschool Network, check it out!

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Stefanie
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Stefanie

Ooo, love the hotdog octopi. I’m so doing that next week when my little one works on the letter O.

Fun week!

Popping in from HSMJ

Amber
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Amber

Ooh, perfect timing!

Stephanie
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Stephanie

Sounds like you all some great educational “rabbit trails” going on! Isn’t it fun to see where our children’s curiosity and interests will lead us?

We are also attempting to grow an avocado plant from a pit. We’ve had ours perched on top of a jar of water for about a month. It’s grown a long taproot, off of which smaller, secondary roots have now started to grow. We think it should be ready to plant soon. If all goes well, we should be eating fresh avocados in like 3 or 4 years. 🙂

Amber
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Amber

LOL, that’s the thing about avocado seeds.. I don’t want to wait so long for it to grow avocados.. I’m impatient. But I guess if it grew well, it would be worth the wait for fresh homegrown avocados. =)

kelli- AdventurezInChildRearing
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kelli- AdventurezInChildRearing

sounds like a successful week to me – it sounds like following after some interest led schooling is a bit new to you so I’d like to encourage you that I have found my boys RETAIN the information so much better this way. I can go through a check list with the best of them – I’m a list kind of girl – but my children are soaking up more information and really learning to think when I get over myself and follow after their interests (of course I have some say in what those interests should be) but the… Read more »

Amber
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Amber

I am kind of new, or at least new to doing it intentionally!! The girls were both interested in sitting down to “do school” at 3 or 4. So we did (albeit very simply.) But with the BOY.. I could tell early on.. he is DIFFERENT! He isn’t interested in “sitting down to do school” but very interested in learning. He’s not interested in reading and writing much but interested learning what they letters say/do and lots of drawing. I ask him to sit/play and listen while I read bible, science and history to them as a group and some… Read more »

kelli- AdventurezInChildRearing
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kelli- AdventurezInChildRearing

I do Bible first – and even use it for handwriting – I also choose a bible verse based on what we are studying (usually in science – like swimming creatures and so forth) sign up for my newsletter and I’ll send you the printout full of Creation verses anyway- the boys – yes- all three of mine are fundamentally against writing and sitting still for too long – so I get creative! my busiest boy will draw or play with clay while I teach/ read aloud – keeps him out of trouble – they do math every day and… Read more »

Amber
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Amber

We do bible first and use it for reading. =) The 9yo reads aloud the daily devotion from Jesus Calling for Kids, the 12 yo reads aloud the next story out of the Gospel Story Bible. Then I read the lesson from Who is God. =) I ask Little Prince to sit and listen with pipe cleaners, play doh, or legos. It works. Usually. =)

Thank you so much for your encouragement! And I’ll keep an eye out for that upcoming series!

Stef - Educating Layton
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Stef - Educating Layton

oh my – your octopus meal has me howling with laughter! What a great difference w/ braces (I had the same overbite and beautiful teeth now).

Looks like a great week – we’ve been starting notebooking so I’m excited to see how that goes!

Amber
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Amber

I’m glad to make you laugh! I’m pretty sure I saw the octopus dogs on Pinterest, or maybe another blog, I don’t know.. it’s been quite some time and I don’t remember where I got the idea. I made them back then when I saw it but not since then. I don’t know what made Little Prince think of it when he asked for it but clearly he enjoyed it and never forgot it!

Jenny
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Jenny

A lot of “Stef’s” commenting on your blog, ha! 🙂 I remember how exciting it was to get the braces off!!! My daughter has been requesting a “date” with me lately, too. Thanks for the great links!

Amber
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Amber

I know, I must be popular with Stef’s. =p
Princess can’t WAIT to get her braces off!! She’s really looking forward to it!

Dawn @ The Momma Knows
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Dawn @ The Momma Knows

What a difference a year of braces makes! Both of our daughters and one of our sons have those “$5000 smiles” and they did make a tremendous difference in all three. Our middle daughter’s overbite was so bad that she had teeth marks in the roof of her mouth behind her top front teeth! The trick once they get them off, though, is keeping them using their retainers every night, rather than doing “retainer therapy”, as my 17yo calls it, wearing her retainers for 5 days once every couple months or so. Uh, yeah. (Grr.)

Amber
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Amber

Yes, Dawn, Princess had those teeth indentions in the roof of her mouth also! =( She also had a cross bite, a deep bite (the bottom teeth scooped down in the middle like a saddle), and various teeth that were turned or angled the wrong way. It was pretty bad!! They’ve been taking pics all along b/c they’re using her as a case study!! They said “2 years” initially but now they’ve said “no way it’ll take that long.” They specialize in extreme cases and they’ve done some pretty cool stuff to turn and move her teeth without surgery (which… Read more »