Friday, August 28, 2009


The finished products after a lesson on creating "realistic" self-portraits. I knew the lesson had sunk in when later in the day and Adrie and I were playing a get-to-know you game. One of the questions I picked for her was, "Describe how you look."
She answered, "I have football shaped eyes that are in the middle of my face--not the top-- and I have a nose with 3 curves."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and Dad Save the Day

So we are two weeks into schooling and I feel like a chicken running around with its' head cut off. Or maybe like a busy mother hen who ends the day in happy exhaustion. We now have two kids doing school, one preschooler, and a 18 month old monster toddler. I have to say that I really ADMIRE mothers who school multiple children at home. It's a challenge and I hope I'm up for a year of it!
Week 2 is going much better than week 1 because Dad came up with an idea. Each school day the girls can earn a quarter IF THEY HAVE A GOOD ATTITUDE. We have 4 school days (Friday is for Art, baking, cleaning) That amounts to a couple dollars a week for kids with a good attitude. Priceless for me! We are on day 2 and it is working wonderfully. Attitude is everything.
Week 2 is also way more organized. We spent one school day going over the curriculum and expectations of each kids school year then made up a chart with the DAILY "have-to's for school.

This doesn't actually look to fun does it? Luckily we have some great curriculum books sent to us by our k12 program that address each one in a fun way. Today for example Kate read a story about Lewis and Clark to learn about subjects and predicates. For Literature she read aloud (using her karaoke microphone--future rockstar here) a fable from India, "The Tiger, Brahman, and Jackal." She practiced her cursive. She added adjectives to make her composition about Hannah Montana even more exciting.
Dad is going to be taking over the teaching of her math--phew!

Brynn's (1st grade) school chart has 4 things: MATH, PHONICS, LANGUAGE ARTS, HANDWRITING. So far she thinks homeschool is the best thing ever. I heard her tell her friend the other day, "I Loooooove it." Dad calls this a honeymoon period and to enjoy it while we can. Today she finished all her lessons and cleanup by noon and was asking who she could play with. She was shocked to learn that all her friends were still in school for another 3 hours. "Doesn't anyone else do homeschool????" Today she learned about even and odd numbers and patterns using the colored counting rods. She worked on handwriting and we read the first chapter of Mrs. Piggle Wiggle.

The inspiration in this book has already proved VERY handy. Today, for example, I was nagging 4 year old Adrie to clean her room before she could watch a show. (She always seems to end up with a sore leg when it's clean up time) After lots of whining and flailing on the floor I realized my attempts were futile. Then I remembered Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. Pretty soon Adrie was made into a "toy elf." She had to pick up all the toys in her room and put them in the "sleigh" so Santa could take them to all the children in the world. If she didn't get them in the sleigh in time, not only would little girls in India and little boys in China be heartbroken but Santa would fire her. She would have to live with polar bears and swim in icy cold water and eat raw fish for dinner. I told her to yell "ho ho ho" when the toys were ready for Santa. She sang as she worked and finally I heard the signal and went in draped in a crimson blanket from the closet." Santa was very proud of her and Kate suggested she be promoted to "Elf of the Year." Thank You Mrs. Piggle Wiggle!

Amidst all of this we have an 18 month old boy who gets into everthing. Today he climbed on the table and ripped pages out of Brynn's math workbook. He sucked on the math counting rods. He escaped outside and ran into the road wearing only a diaper--at least a diaper. Thankfully it is now naptime!

The year is looking good so far...I just need a little more energy and a lot more patience.