Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Fun School, week 5

Maeve did more subtraction problems on Khan Academy and she also did a refresher about ordinal numbers. She's ready to move forward so we will.

Finn watched several multiplication videos on Khan and worked some problems. He's going to be working on multiplication for awhile, but he's getting it.

Maeve worked on Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) and Lang Lessons.

We studied blood and the heart.

The kids were very imaginative this week. They put on several plays for me and made a workshop for themselves.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Yes, I have already started planning. I will be following this:

something to wear
something to read
something they want
something they need

-I'll make her a few skirts
-a frog book
-White's Tree frog
-Her needed item will more than likely be grouped with her new frog set up

-I'll make him some pants
-a bowling book
-Mario Party 9
-He needs a bigger bike and I should be able to find a nice one for cheap

-I'll make him some pants
-construction book
-Daddy will make him a tool bench
-nuts and bolts and a tool belt (I will make it)


-I'll make a taggie ball or stuffed animal

Stocking stuffers will consist of a few candy items and a photo book that recaps the year of each kid. I did this for them last year and they love looking at all of the pictures of themselves. I'm going to have them open a book for each day of December (I'll hit up the thrift store because books are only 25 cents a piece) and I might buy into the Elf on the Shelf thing this year because it looks like fun.

I'm still thinking about gifts for extended family members. The grandparents will receive pictures and I will more than likely make salves and the like for everyone else.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Fun School, Week 4

We've been doing a lot of math. Both kids have notebooks and I've been giving them problems to write down and solve. Maeve really enjoys this and Finn enjoys knowing the answer before his sister and then keeping it a secret. We're breezing through Singapore 1A and I'm proud of Maeve. She's been working on subtraction and enjoys Khan Academy.

Finn hasn't had any sort of attention span this week. but he did sit still long enough for me to show him how to add big numbers and carry over on paper. Finn is working through Singapore 2A and started multiplication.

We are learning about digestion this week. I like the books we're using (The Usborne Book of Knowledge, Usborne Science Experiments, book 3, and a human body book). The kids were pretending to be Bob the Builder space travelers so we spent one morning talking about planets, their sizes, and then making up and drawing our own planets. Maeve's planets were frogs, of course.

Maeve's handwriting continues to improve as she works through Handwriting Without Tears. She's been working through Language Lessons for a Well Trained Mind and is retaining some of it!

I am so much more relaxed about school this year and love it. We do organized learning whenever we have a lull in the day, which is working beautifully.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Maeve and I were looking up frog stuff on the computer last night. I typed in something on Google and noticed a few other searches that had taken place earlier in the day. "BUTTS" and BUTTSONLY". Lovely. The kids thought they were hilarious.

Oren drew fire on his arms today and said he was a fireman. I was proud until he pointed his fist at me and yelled, "FIRE!". You see, he was a fire man, as in a super villain who causes fires.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sewing Pile

This is my sewing pile. I'm hoping to get to it soon, or at the very least, before Tillie desperately needs the next sized diaper (the fabric at the top of the pile).

I will be making several skirts for me, a couple of skirts for Maeve, pants for the boys (that fabric is in a different pile), and quilted seat covers for the dining room chairs. The chairs will look awesome if they are ever completed.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Maeve always carries a net with her on our walks and she found this. It's a bullfrog with a very long tail. We were all very excited and Oren has named him Trek.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Fun School, Weeks 2 and 3

Ha. I'm already behind.

Maeve is really enjoying Handwriting Without Tears. It is helping her write slower and is correcting the way she writes. Maeve has started using lower case letters and she rarely writes backwards.

Maeve is improving is math as well. She is finally understanding numbers and addition. I've switched her back to Singapore 1A because she needs and wants more drilling and Life of Fred does not provide that. Maeve has been using Khan Academy online and that is working well for her too. She writes most of her numbers correctly, however, she starts to write them backwards after she's been working for awhile. It was funny because we were working on numbers that add up to 10 and Finn would interject and say things like "What's 200 minus 190? 10!!" He's way beyond where Maeve is in math.

We've been working on Sonlight Science C and reading about bats, giraffes, elephants, and tigers. Maeve is not at all interested because it's not about frogs.

I'm on the fence about history. I have all of the history for the year planned, however, it doesn't seem to even moderately entertain my daughter. We learned about the Mayans, who were a fascinating group of people, and Maeve was not impressed. I'll keep at it for awhile, but am considering pitching it and doing history in a very relaxed way. We are slowly reading Little House on the Prairie (do people still underline books? I feel funny underlining it) and I might just focus on that as our history. We talk about historical things often and since it's not required by the state until sixth grade, I'm probably not going to stress about it.

Finn has been doing a lot of math worksheets and adding with dice. He can add three digit numbers, but only in his head. He has also been working on Explode the Code and his handwriting is getting better.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Do you know how many times a day I open my newly organized spice drawer?

I used very small jelly jars (they are the same size as baby food containers) and they work perfectly. I won't end up with spice lids half open or randomly sized bottles of whatever on my spice rack. I plan to buy all of my spices in bulk or grow them and then refill as needed.

I love getting things organized.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Homemade Bread

I've been looking for s great homemade bread recipe for a long time. I finally found it. The funniest thing about this recipe is that when I told my mom about it she said that it's the recipe her mom always used. That would have been helpful information many years ago.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Fun School Classroom

 Welcome to our learning space. Last year my office was where we spent most of our school time. Unfortunately, my office became a dumping ground for everything in the house and stopped being functional. I moved everything into our awkward dining room and, for the first time in five years, I can honestly say I like the space.

We have two kid sized work tables for the kids. Maeve gets her own because she's a slob and the boys share.

The white cabinets hold learning games, puzzles, and all other highly dumpable materials. The cabinet doors do not open easily with the rug and since everything is out of sight, the kids leave it alone. The set of cabinets by the painted tree house toys.

The painted tree is for Oren's letter of the week.

The red, empty picture frames are for random bits of  artwork. The white shelves and red baskets are for more toys and the white frame above the shelves is for calender time.

Our dining room table gets used when I need to work with more than one kid at a time. There is also a buffet that's not pictured and that is where I store all of our math manipulatives. I like math manipulatives and have two drawers full. 

I'm looking forward to using this space this year and reclaiming my office.

P.s. Maeve named our school the Fun School.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Sensory Play

I had a moment of confusion when I thought that letting my kids scoop cornmeal indoors was a good idea. It did keep them quite busy for awhile, however, they didn't seem to grasp the concept that the cornmeal needed to stay in the blue table.

I wanted to fill the table with different substances each week, but the constant sweeping of cornmeal kind of turned me off. Oren took it upon himself to fill the table (and my bookshelf) with flour and then dump water all over it. Water and flour make glue. That was fun to clean up.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Fun School, Week 1

We are slowly easing back into a formal learning routine. Our first week went well.

Oren: learned about the letter A and enjoyed tracing with a dry erase marker and cutting things, he is not at all interested in letters

Finn: completed about 20 pages in his DK Math Made Easy workbook, worked on his Explode the Code

Maeve: completed six pages in her Explode the Code workbook, started Handwriting Without Tears and we worked at correcting the way she writes letters (she likes the correct way and thinks it's easier), completed one chapter in Life of Fred and practiced addition on Khan Academy site. We also studied apes/monkeys, giraffes, and bears for science. In history, she learned about the land bridge and tectonic plates. Maeve is finally starting to grasp numbers and I might start her again on Singapore 1B. I think she needs more drilling and number practice and Life of Fred isn't cutting it. Also, between Life of Fred, science, and history, it seems like all I do is read.

Baby Smush Face