Friday, August 29, 2008

Mount Vernon

A few days ago we had a chance to go back in time. Well, sort of. ;) We headed to Mount Vernon, home of our first president. Kid #4 has been looking forward to going there for quite a while. Last school year we studied early American history and made a plan to go to Mount Vernon. Unfortunately, on the day we had planned she woke up with a high fever. I had no desire to go during the hot, hot days of summer, so we put the trip off. Our plan was to go in September sometime. However, the weather cooperated and off we went.
I am going to let Kid #4 post about the pictures.

Here I am walking with George and Martha and their grandkids. These statues were in a building. There was a movie theater in the building and we watched a movie about George Washington during war. They had a model of George Washington's house and it opened and closed. You could see inside.

This is a picture of the slave's quarters.

We took this picture of George Washington's house while we were standing in line to go inside. It looks like stone on his house, but it is really wood. They painted it and added sand to make it look that way.

This is a picture of George Washington's Riding Chair. He would sit on it and a horse pulled him.

Here is one last picture of George Washington's kitchen. It was a separate building. That helped keep the house cooler in the summer, because they wouldn't be cooking inside. Also, it helped reduce the risk of the mansion burning down.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Our homeschool agenda....

I'd love to share our homeschool agenda, because I am thrilled with it! This year is my second year with just one student. Kid #4 is the only one left at home to school. Her brothers have all graduated and moved on. It has been quite different schooling just one child, let alone schooling a girl!! :o) I consider her a third grader.

We are using My Father's World:Exploring Countries and Cultures. We are learning about geography, geography terms, world religions, missionaries and different habitats. This is our second year of using MFW and we are thrilled. Kid #4 loves the hands on activities that help bring what she is learning to life and I love the planning being all laid out for me. It isn't too much, either.

For Math, we are using Singapore. This is our second year with this program, too. It does lack a bit in explanation, but for the early grades I am finding that I can figure it out. It doesn't overwhelm her, but does move at a fast pace.

In addition to the Bible Study in MFW, we are also using Keys for Kids. These are wonderful devotions that I discovered last year and they are free. Every two months we get a new devotional and the stories are just right for kid #4. I find that often times she will bring up a lesson from the week before when something that day reminds her of the past lesson. That itself is a testimony to how good they are.

We are studying Astronomy this year with Apologia. Last year we did their Zoology 1 book and that was fascinating. I learned more about birds and bugs then I ever knew before and kid #4 became quite a birdwatcher. She still loves feeding her birds and watching them. Her favorite is the American Goldfinch. I have high hopes for Astronomy.

For English we are using several different things. A Beka Grammar, Phonics Pathways, ACSI Spelling, a handwriting book, various readers and library books.

We also love everything from The Critical Thinking Company. Currently we are working on Mind Benders. I think logic is very important and it is something we have done since she started Kindergarten. She loves the workbooks we have and it really only takes a few minutes each day.

Piano lessons will resume in a few weeks and we are going to be taking tennis lessons for 8 weeks with some homeschooled friends. Every other Monday we are also take part in a co-op that will cover music, art and some life science this year. It really is just a chance to get together with friends and learn a few things taught by other moms. My job this year will be to float with the 3rd-4th graders and help in each class. I think I can handle that!!

I have a goal this year to teach kid #4 more about cooking. She loves it and has asked for lessons from me. Today we made some peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies and they were delish. I followed her suggestion and added some peanuts to the dough. She loved seeing her idea work and everyone enjoying the cookies.

Our schedule is fairly loose. We start sometime between 9 and 11 and finish between 1 and 3. It all depends on how quickly we get moving in the morning. We always start with bible and then move from there. I alternate subjects that require lots of reading with subjects that require lots of writing. I keep a notebook beside me and record every subject and page number as she is working on it. That becomes my record for the year. I have each page numbered so I can easily see how many days we have had school. I also went through my notebook and randomly put some fun things to do at the top of the page. One day was hat day and she had to pick her fav. hat to wear. One day we had to play a card game before we started school. (we played Go Fish) Anyway, that keeps it fun for her and adds some spice to our days. While she works on her independent work I slip out of our school room and clean my room, throw in some laundry, empty trash cans, wipe up a bathroom, or whatever else needs to be done. It really helps. Then after school, we do some quick chores that didn't get done earlier. That helps keep the house clean and everyone happy.

I am going to have to look for a verse for this year. There are so many out there to choose from, so I want to give it a little time and reflection.

Thanks for letting me share!!

Blogger Friend School

I just decided to sign up for Blogger Friend School 2008-2009. I am not entirely sure of what to expect, but I do know that it looks very interesting and challenging. I will be given weekly writing assignments and will be able to read other blogs that are working on the same assignment. Kind of like Mommy School. :o)

If you are interested in checking them out and seeing the free giveaway they are offering right now, check them out here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Mike took most of this week off and we are doing some random field trips, of sorts. Kid #4 was very excited about this idea, because it counts for days of school without having to do math. ;)

On Monday we headed to the Eastern Shore and tried our hand at fishing. We decided to go to the Choptank River Fishing Pier which is the old bridge that went over the river. The weather was cooperative and we all actually got up early enough to head out close to the planned time. Sons #1 and #2 were able to join us, as well as my dad.

We all caught something. However, our plans for a big dinner were dashed when we saw what size we were pulling out of the river. At one time, I reeled my line in to check if I still had worms on my hooks. My son looked over the bridge and said, "you have a fish on your line!!" Oh my word!! It was so tiny that I had no clue it was there. Anyway, kid #4 was so excited because she caught over 20 fish!! No one else was even close. She told us, "You just drop your line and play with it a little and a fish jumps on." Wouldn't you know....she did just that and a fish jumped on everytime.

Here are some pictures of our Monday adventures....

I believe this was fish number 3. We had no clue at this time that the fish wouldn't get any bigger and that this girl was gonna snag over 20 of them.

Yeah, she is having a REALLY good time!

Kid #1 is joking about this big whopper that he pulled in all by himself!

This is number 13 or something like that. You can see grandpa right behind her and daddy further down the bridge.

Kids #1 and #2 enjoying themselves. #2 was intent on trying to pull a crab up. He had one hanging onto his line right up to the railing when it decided to let go. #3 was stuck working on Monday. We missed him. He, on the other hand, didn't miss much!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bitten by the CVS Bug....

I've been reading some money saving blogs the past few weeks. Many of them mention the deals that are to be had at CVS. Saving money always interests me, making money interests me MORE!! It helps that we happen to have a CVS right around the corner....or two. I read all that I could and then decided to jump right into playing the CVS game.

First off, I already have a CVS Extra Care Card. So, that was one step that I could skip. I looked on their website and found that if I registered online in their photo lab and used my card number I could get 50 free prints! Ok, that is cool. So, I uploaded 50 pictures and pushed the button to submit my order. (not very hard) You know what was really cool? Going to CVS and picking up my free photos. ;o)

I took the opportunity to look around the store and get a feel for their layout. I picked up some computer paper(we were out) that happened to be on sale and went to checkout. I got a coupon for a free CVS toothbrush up to 1.99. I also got a coupon asking me to update my email address and give it to the cashier. I will then get a coupon via email for $4 off a $20 purchase.

So, I am taking baby steps to insure that I don't wind up spending way more then I should. You buying boxes of denture cream cheap, even though none of us here have dentures!! This game can get confusing.....but let me tell you about the next trip. :)

I headed back to CVS. They had Alavert on sale. Instead of $8.99, it was $5.99. To sweeten the pot further, if you bought a box of Alavert they would give you $3.00 in Extra Care Bucks to spend in the store on whatever you wanted. Sweet, huh!? Well, to make it even BETTER.... I printed a coupon for $4.00 off a box of Alavert. Then when I went to get it, I realized that instead of a 12 count box, it was a bonus 18 count box. (Not bad...even put a smile on my face!) But you know what really had me smiling? Walking away from the cashier with my bag of allergy medicine and a toothbrush that cost me a whopping $1.99, PLUS having a $3 coupon to spend there next time. hehe....they paid me a dollar to carry my bag out of the store.

So, fast forward to the next week. I notice a deal on Crest Toothpaste. They have it on sale for $1.99. This happens to be cheaper then the sale at my local grocery store. To sweeten the deal, they offered $1 ECB(extra care buck) for every tube up to a total of 5 tubes. I just happened to have 3 - $1 off coupons for Crest. So, I swung by my local CVS and picked up three tubes of Crest. I gave them my three ECB from my Alavert deal AND my 3 - $1 off coupons. That brought my total to 15 cents (tax) AND I again walked out of the store with $3 more to spend next time!! HOW fun is that????

I told kid #4 to remember everytime she brushes her teeth that it's a free cleaning. (she got the free toothbrush and a tube of Crest!)


Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year....

Don't you just LOVE that commercial with the dad dancing through the school supplies and his kids just looking so glum following behind him. Cracks me up everytime!! I do love back to school time and I am not sending my child out of the home. hehe....

Yep, we just head to our schoolroom and start plugging away. Some days are better then others, but we usually have fun. It is so different schooling just one kid now, as opposed to three boys once upon a time. That was fun, too....but different. (Ok....a WHOLE lot different!!) Anyway, I am loving our quiet school days. I think she is handling back to school well, too. Let's see....

Here she is on the official first day back to school. (when I start recording and counting days!) She looks so happy.

Here we are two weeks later. This day was wear your hat to class day. It really was! I am not just saying that because she's wearing her hat. I had it written out in my notebook where I keep track of our days. I have gone through my notebook and randomly added some rewards or encouragements along the way. She looks forward to seeing what's next.

We are using My Father's World Exploring Countries and Cultures. This lesson is working on making a floorplan of her room. She really got caught up into this and enjoyed all the measuring of her room, windows, doors and furniture. We even moved some of furniture on her map and then went to her room and tried it. We decided the way we originally had it set up was best.

Another view of her map. She now has it hanging on her wall.

Here are her first two vocabulary cards that she made. The definitions are on the other side. This program is really allowing her creative side to come out.

Here we happened to move out to the dining room to finish this project up. She is working on Astronomy this year and she is also working on her first lapbook. (again, combining her creative side with learning!) She was working so hard on writing the paper for the inside of this she didn't even realize I set up the booklet and took her picture. She was really surprised later when she was looking through the pictures that I downloaded!! join me....It's the most wonderful time of the year...... I can't hear you!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Why in the world does the summer seem to fly by so quickly? It's August and even the weather seems to think summer is over. Ok, I am not really complaining about THAT part! All my windows are open and that just lifts my mood. I love the fresh air when it isn't all bogged down with extra humidity. You know, the kind that robs you of breath the minute you step outside. The kind that makes your whole body sweat even though you aren't moving. Yeah, maybe I am liking the summer flying by. Ok...not really on that part either! I love summer...just not the oppressive heat and humidity. However, at this moment it doesn't really matter. Summer IS indeed drawing to a close with or without my permission.

I've been up to all kinds of good I promise to get back to my little blog. Stay tuned...