Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's

You might not want to let your 9 year old hear you tell a story about putting a rubber band around the sprayer thingy on your sink so that when the water gets turned on someone gets a shower. He might rig it up and get his little sister, then he might rig it up again and get his older sister.

Note to self: check sprayer thingy before turning on water.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Asking from my heart

I don't like asking for help and I know times are tough and don't even get me started on gas prices but I am going to post this everywhere I can because I do need help but more importantly there are so many people affected by this and it breaks my heart seeing what this terrible disease does to people. I am walking on September 24 in a Walk to End Alzheimer's. I need help to reach my goal of $100. Please support me and help to find a cure for this terribly sad disease. I AM WALKING FOR MY MIL & MY KIDS SILLY GRANDMA. I would appreciate anything you could give $5-$10-whatever- it all adds up! I wouldn't be asking if it didn't mean a lot to me and my family!

PLEASE click on the LINK below the picture above.

Friday, March 18, 2011

It came!

Our Robinson Curriculum just came :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Free Art Lessons

I just found this site! I haven't had much chance to look through it yet but it looks cool. It has art lessons categorized by grade level, artist, period, medium, subject, etc. Even teaches you cartoons. Check it out!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Planners & Pencils

Have you heard of The Homeschool Student Planner? I've had my eye on them but wasn't sure I wanted to buy them since I'd be needing 4 of them. At $20 each for something I wasn't even sure was worth it, meaning couldn't I just print something off or make my own a lot cheaper? They are $15 if you get b&w.
Well a few days ago I joined a yahoo group of the person who created them and today she posted about a sale for some of them that were slightly imperfect (extra ink dots or color faded in spots etc) but perfectly usable. $10. So I took her up on that. I get one (in color) to test out and it cost me half the price. I'll let you know what I decide about it.

What do you do about pencils in your homeschool? We have gone through 3 electric pencil sharpeners and countless plastic handheld ones. The pencils all seem to break easily or the lead falls right out. Does that happen to you? I thought they were cheap pencils but this happened with many brands. Very annoying and very hard to be productive that way. I decided to go with mechanical- I thought I was brilliant when that lightbulb went off! Only to find out Monkey Man and Baby Girl just love to steal the erasers and what's a mechanical pencil without it's eraser? Then the lead falls out. I tried a pencil eraser, doesn't work. You can't push the end to get the lead to come out. I had a hard time finding refill erasers and I was buying new pencils all to often just to get erasers that might last 3 days tops before little hands found them. I started giving stickers to anyone who turned in their pencil, in tact, at the end of school and then put it in a safe place. (We have a sticker chart that when you get 60 for good deeds etc you pick something out of the box.) Still it's not the best system, so much for being brilliant ;)

I'm not sure I found a solution yet, but I did find a great deal (I think). I got a box of (12) pencils for $1.41. Lead refills for $0.59 and erasers (6 per tube) for $0.08!! So I ordered 12 boxes of pencils (144), 36 packs of lead refills (12 sticks per pack =432), and 100 erasers (600!).
Also got free shipping. I heart free shipping.

I hope that lasts a long time, children will not have access to my stash and they will only get one at a time and will be instructed to guard them with their life. Well maybe it won't be that drastic. We'll see ;)

Shoplet is where I found them. If you use that link you will get 10% off your first order. I couldn't pass up 600 erasers for $8. I received everything today. I will say their packing had a lot to be desired though. Everything was rolling around in the box. They must have never heard of packing peanuts or those plastic bubbles or anything! Still everything I ordered was there and in one piece. Minus 2 single erasers- 2 of my tubes only had 5 erasers instead of 6. So I guess I got 598 erasers.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I'm so excited for these to get here

Monday, March 14, 2011

Why RC for us?

I just sent a message to my sister in law about how we came to the decision to start using the Robinson Curriculum and to save myself time I am just going to copy that here now.

"Well I was researching SOS and Monarch- because SOS isn't compatible with MAC. SOS would have been much cheaper in the long run and had the possibility to use with more than 1 child, Monarch would have been a lot more total over the years and can't reuse it- it's all online. I had pretty much decided I'd go with SOS and just buy a laptop PC for "school only" and then continue doing school the same way with the other kids until they all hit 8th grade too then switch them to SOS. It is getting increasingly harder to help each child as much as was needed and its only going to get worse lol....that's why we thought maybe the high school years (starting with 8th to give them a year to adjust before the harder years) might be easier on mom and kid to just go the computer-based route.

Anyway Doug was searching around the one night and came across a ton of other online websites, none felt right and you had to answer to a teacher etc, but he also found Robinson. He said you need to look at this. Well in my head I already decided on SOS so I didn't really want to hear/see it but I looked. I listened to the video, read through the website and as I was reading I kept feeling a pulling inside me (really can't explain it). Then we went to bed and I kept thinking about it and was praying about what we should do. The whole next day I did more research, read reviews, joined yahoo groups, read and reread the website, anything you can think of I did. I also still reviewed the SOS. Something kept pulling me to RC. Doug was all for it from the beginning. We have always used Saxon Math anyway, and Big Sis and Bubby have pretty much always self-taught themselves that from math 54 we are already familiar with that part :) although I would help them, since reading about this now I have stopped helping them and guess what? they actually always figure it out themselves :) We both agree with the philosophy of it and have always felt sometimes less is more and you need to let children learn how to learn and love learning not just memorizing stuff that they are going to forget after the test anyway. I had never heard of RC before Doug found it. We feel like God led him to find it and then to work on me to want to use it lol :) We sat down yesterday and had a loooooooonnnnnnnngggggg family meeting about it and it all feels right. I have read a lot about it and it seems every family is different and uses it the way that "works" for their family. We are going to make a few tweaks along the way and probably more than one as we go along according to our needs as a family and each individual child. Like I said, until I read the course of study I haven't totally made up my mind about some things but we have discussed the sugar and TV and hours and days of school and Doug and I and the kids are all in agreement so far. And you know what? I have the added sense of security knowing that (just like before with any other curriculum choice we've made) if it's not working then we change it. Best part is I'd only be out $195 and really for what it is it would make great a resource to have anyway :) I already have the saxon books and only need to buy the subsequent workbooks for each child and BigSis's new books. (my yearly curriculum/supplies list/bill will be almost nonexistent from here on out except paper/pencils and other supplies!) We are all very excited to get started and not to mention it is going to save me a TON of money compared to what I usually spend on books! I'm not saying it will work for everyone but we feel it's what we are meant to do- or at least give a fair shot :) It's going to take some adjustment period and that may be a year but in the end I feel it will be worth it. It will give the kids confidence and I think there will be no stopping them :)

The other day I took a little video of what was going on during school- it was a particular crazy moment- where Big Sis had to hold baby girl (she wasn't happy without her), Monkey Man had just threw a cup and spilled water everywhere so Pickle was cleaning it up- even though we were in the middle of her english test, Bubby was helping out with Monkey Man and Boogs had been bugging to do whatever at the moment. I was going to show it to Doug to see what he suggested (as principal/supporter) we could do to make days more productive and easier. I forgot to show him. I finally remembered yesterday and I asked him "What would you have suggested?" and he said "I don't really know, but isn't it funny that you forgot to show me and that's the night I found RC?"

Right now we have a lot to "get done" each day and we struggle every day to get it done. I think with RC we will have less to "get done" and we'll actually accomplish more and be more productive :)))))"