Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Race to Graduation Begins

If you have been reading previous posts, you will remember that Melody has graduated high school at age 16, and we are saving the celebration until her college graduation in a few more years.

This means that Abbey has four years to do the exact same thing. The race to graduate Princess Abbey is on! Hootie hoo!!!! Now, you will all think that I am a total meanie, but in order to make this happen without a great deal of stress is to cut Summer vacation short. That doesn't mean that the kids don't get to swim and hang out with friends, but we still have lessons. Due to circumstances that were beyond my control, we have not had any formal lessons for about a month. That's a pretty good vacation for a homeschooler, especially since I give them all of December for Christmas.

Tomorrow starts the first week of Abbey's four year race to graduation. Here is her list of things to do for the week. If you want to follow along, I will continue to post these weekly for your benefit. These lessons are based on the Year 6 (actually 7th grade) curriculum from Ambleside.
Week 1 Assignments:
Bible: Genesis Lesson I: Creation
*The Nineteenth Amendment Grants Women the Right to Vote.
*Archaeologists Uncover King Tut's Tomb
*Charles Lindburgh Sails Over the Atlantic.
*The Story of Mankind: Chapter 66
*Read a book of your choice.
*Story of David Livingstone: 1 Chapter
*School of the Woods: chapter 1
*It Couldn't Just Happen by Lawrence Richards
*Secrets of the Universe by Paul Fleisher
*Albert Einsten and the Theory of Relativity by Cwiklik
*Math (I
Poetry of Robert Frost: copy first poem for notebook.
Age of Fable: Chapter 29: Return of Ulysses
Romeo and Juliet: begin reading
Our Young Folks' Plutarch: begin reading
The Hobbit: forward and chapter 1
Keep working on Youth Heritage project

*These lessons will also include math, nature study, copywork, art, composer studies, art studies, and more. If it sounds like a lot, it is, but these lessons must be tweaked or modified to meet the needs of the individual child.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's official. My 16 year old princess, who has homeschooled since kindergarten is a freshman in college. Her books arrived in the mail today. Melody is working toward a bachelor's degree in business administration. I am so proud right now that I can hardly stand to be around myself.

For the benefit of my homeschooling friends, I would like to share a few things that I have learned from over 10 years of homeschooling my first born princess.

1. In the early years, even I thought that I may have lost my mind when I withdrew Melody from school, I knew in my heart that this was right, even if it didn't make sense at the time.

2. Purchasing curriculum has been a non issue. The Lord has provided richly, and we have always managed to have what we need at any given time.

3. There are people in our lives that have made their best efforts to make me angry, and have tried to shame me into throwing in the towel. Guess what? I learned that I am tougher than I thought, and can forge ahead, even through my own tears.

4. Even homeschooled kids don't always do what they are told, but discipline is part of the educational experience.

5. A social life is important, but I'm still not convinced that "socialization" is the correct word, simply because it is a word that is often thrown around by some very uncouth people. Sure, they miss out on some things by being homeschooled, but public schooled kids also miss out on some things by being public schooled. We took the road less traveled, and it led to great things.

6. A mother absolutely can create a high school transcript. If she can fill in the blanks, then she can manage quite well. After all, if said mother was public schooled, then she has had lots of practice in the art of filling in blanks.

7. I have two more princesses on this journey. Can I handle another 15 years or so of this? The truth is that it gets easier with practice.

8. If you are new to homeschooling, be prepared to be told by people that have no jobs that you are too lazy to send the kids to school and get a real job. Be prepared to be told by people that have dropped out of high school that your kids HAVE to go to school like everybody else. Don't be surprised when people who have never been to college tell you that online college isn't "real". Learn to hold yourself back when parents of pregnant teens, mini alcoholics and drug addicts tell you that your kids are missing out on the real world.


10. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything, and am very grateful to God, and to all of our friends and family that have climbed this uphill battle with us.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Motts for Tots

Motts for Tots is a juice that is formulated for small children with 40% less sugar and 100% apple juice. If you haven't tried Motts for Tots, simply click the link for savings. I will receive a free sample in the mail from Vocalpoint, and will let you know if Princess Tarja likes it.

On the home front, I have started making car seat blankies. These blankies are designed in such a way that the car seat buckle fits through a hole so that the blankie doesn't fall to the ground while baby is being carried. Isn't that amazing? I plan to make lots and lots of these, so stay tuned for new posts on Laurel's Etsy Shop.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Charlotte Mason Preschool

I copied this from Ambleside Online. Princess Tarja is three years old, so that gives us three years to try to reach the goals listed below. It may be a challenge to find lakes, ponds, forest trees and wild flowers in Monahans, Texas, but we will certainly give it a try.

"A Formidable List of Attainments for a Child of Six"

A reprint of a curriculum outline from a CM school in the 1890's. from Summer 93 Parents Review pub by Karen Andreola

1. To recite, beautifully, 6 easy poems and hymns
2. to recite, perfectly and beautifully, a parable and a psalm
3. to add and subtract numbers up to 10, with dominoes or counters
4. to read--what and how much, will depend on what we are told of the child
5. to copy in print-hand from a book
6. to know the points of the compass with relation to their own home, where the sun rises and sets, and the way the wind blows
7. to describe the boundries of their own home
8. to describe any lake, river, pond, island etc. within easy reach
9. to tell quite accurately (however shortly) 3 stories from Bible history, 3 from early English, and 3 from early Roman history (my note here, we may want to substitute early American for early English!)
10. to be able to describe 3 walks and 3 views
11. to mount in a scrap book a dozen common wildflowers, with leaves (one every week); to name these, describe them in their own words, and say where they found them.
12. to do the same with leaves and flowers of 6 forest trees
13. to know 6 birds by song, colour and shape
14. to send in certain Kindergarten or other handiwork, as directed
15. to tell three stories about their own "pets"--rabbit, dog or cat.
16. to name 20 common objects in French, and say a dozen little sentences
17. to sing one hymn, one French song, and one English song
18. to keep a caterpillar and tell the life-story of a butterfly from his own observations.
Last night, after my perfectly Somersized meal and an amazingly positive change in my blood sugar readings, Princess Abbey and I made the sidewalk paint. Abbey and Tarja painted the front porch with beautiful crosses and swirlies. Of course, we don't get to keep these creations, since this paint dries to a powder for easy clean up. That means that they get to create new masterpieces another time.

Hubs dug up an area for a garden. We planted onions, jalapeno peppers, cucumbers, and pumpkins. Tarja helped plant seeds, and then I let her plant sunflower seeds in a little flower pot of her own. Bear in mind that we have been trying to have a garden for years, and have never been successful. Here's hoping that we will have a plant grow in our new town. So far, the trees that we have planted are thriving, and I have more roses on my little rose bush than I have ever had in my entire life. Maybe today, Tarja can plant a bean so that she can watch a really fast growing plant while she waits for the more slowly growing flowers. I also have a lot of seeds of various yellow flowers to plant in the front yard. The reason that they are all yellow is that my more artistic minded, Princess Melody, suggested that all of the flowers should be the same color. I hope to have a yard full of yellow flowers soon.

After the planting fun, we went to the park so that Tarja could blow bubbles with a bubble blowing set that Melody bought for her, and then we all played catch. Abbey, the softball players, laughed at our throwing and catching abilities, but it was fun.

I actually have pictures of all of this, but can't find my USB cable so that I can upload them to my computer.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I've gone back to Somersize level one, for reasons that I can't disclose at this time, but it works for me in certain sensitive situations, and hopefully I can discipline myself to make a lifestyle out of it. My health really, truly depends on it. Hence, this is another phase to my personal war on diabetes.

Here is a strange, interesting fact about me, now that we are on the subject of health: I do not drink water without ice. Even if I drink bottled water, it needs to be ice cold. As I write this, Princess Melody has informed me that we are out of ice, and since caffeine causes issues with my blood sugar, my glass remains empty. It's water, or I need to go out and get a bag of ice. Don't even ask why I won't drink ice made at home. It doesn't even make sense to me, but that's one of the things that makes me different. Be that as it may, I have made a commitment to myself to drink as much water as possible, and it's working for me. Since we live in Death Texas, water is a good thing to pour within one's body.

Hopefully, it will get cool enough to do something outside. When, and if that happens, I want to make Sidewalk Paint for Princess Tarja. I'm sure that her sisters will enjoy helping her beautificate our sidewalks, as well. I absolutely love home made art supplies.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I got up early this morning to get a jump start on my day before everyone else got out of bed. No sooner had I gotten out of the shower, when my hubs handed me the keys to the Expedition, and told me to go have it inspected. I took it in, and was told that the horn and a rear tire needed attention. When I took it home, my hubs handed me the keys to the Tahoe and gave repeat instructions. Ok, fine. I did that. As soon as I got home with the newly inspection stickered Tahoe, he handed me the keys to the Expedition, and said that it was ready to be inspected again. This time, it passed. As soon as I got home with the Expedition, he decided that we should go to Sams Club to fill up the Tahoe. Sams Club is in the next town, and I am always up for running off for an hour or two with him, so we jumped in and took off. Mind you, it was over 90 degrees, and the air conditioner in the Tahoe ran out of freon. Joy.

Other than that, I got two large loads of laundry completed, and redesigned some leftovers for a fast, after church supper. Princess Tarja wasn't too sure about my newly seasoned chicken. The king was trying to convince her that it was very good, and she said, "It's holy crap!" However, the king won, and she enjoyed two helpings of her crappy chicken.