Sunday, March 21, 2010

Workbox activity for Lent

Here's a great workbox activity for Lent!  The children will make a Stations of the Cross booklet.  I recently discovered  That Resource Site and I've been spending lots of time there, finding some great activities for the kids.

As we've been praying the stations this Lent, I have our pictures hanging form our mantel.  The pictures are from CHC .  Social Butterfly and I found some glass votive candle holders at JoAnn Fabrics  and they are working beautifully.  The children are much more reverent during prayer when the candles are lit - even Beany!

The Logic Of a Six Year Old

Builder ran outside to play when the sun came out this afternoon.  Because we have a dog, and because the yard is quite muddy from all the melting snow, AND, because he had just put on his new shoes, I yelled "Be careful where you walk in your new shoes Builder!"  It shouldn't have surprised me when he stopped, looked down, took off his shoes, and carried them the rest of the way, without a worry about where he might step in his bare feet!

Science Olympiad

Night Owl took the silver medal in one of his competitions.  His school took the bronze medal over-all.
Great job kids!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Praying for Night Owl

I'll be leaving in a few minutes to take him to the next Science Olympiad competition.  This is the state competition.  We hope everyone on the team does well!

Friday, March 19, 2010


Sorry about the never ending changes in backgrounds here!  I haven't found the one that fits just right.  I'm really frustrated at the moment because I can't figure out how to get that banner centered!

Solemnity of Saint Joseph

Go here for a beautiful prayer to Saint Joseph on this special feast day!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Planning Notes

I mentioned that I am in planning mode here.  I think I'm always in planning mode!  It is one of my favorite things to do.  Currently, I'm planning for several things but the most long term topic is school for next year.  Reading this thread  over at the 4Real Learning Forums has inspired me to post about what I've been thinking in this regard.  I still basically follow the method I spoke about here:

But I tend to tweak things when I find something that works better, so I've made a few minor adjustments.

When a new year begins I immediately set up a file on my computer called "Notes for Next Year" and make notes there all year long.  Then, about this time of year I go through them all and evaluate what is working, and what needs to be changed for the coming year.  As far as weekly planning goes, it's mostly working but I've included the use of clipboards for each of the kids, along with an assignment sheet.
This assignment sheet originated when we broke away from the workboxes for a while.  But now, as we're returning to our workboxes, I see the benefit of the assignment sheet and have continued it.
As you can see in the pictures below (click to make it bigger), they are pretty basic.  I keep them very general on purpose.  I don't need to write the lesson numbers in subjects like math, because we just follow the book and do one lesson a day.  I don't need to write the title of the book they need to read for history because it will be in their workbox.  All this information is written in my own plans though so that I can keep track of where we are.  So, why bother with the checklists?  Because I've discovered that my kids are like me - they are much more productive when they have a sense of accomplishment that comes from making that little check mark in the box.  For Social Butterfly, who doesn't have workboxes, it also ensures that she accomplishes all of her assignments for the day.  Notice there is also a checkbox for chores and piano practice.

So this is one of those things that I noted, in my file, as "working".   The only thing I would like to change about these checksheets is their appearance. There are several examples of beautiful plans in the thread that I linked to above and they've inspired me to add a little beauty to our plans as well.  My children and I are very visual.  They notice the little clip art picture I try to change now and then and even the font if I change it.  I would love to give these checksheets a more attractive appearance since my kids have to look at them all day.

The one other thing I would like to change a bit is the plans I make in my own lesson planner.  This is the record I keep of the pages we will read, the lessons numbers, etc.  Currently, I plan for each week.  I would like to change this to a monthly plan, or maybe even six weeks.  There are things we study in science or history that usually take 4-6 weeks to complete, like a unit.  Planning for a month or so at a time will help me to categorize by unit a little better. 

For now, these are just ideas.  I'll be sharing what I come up with once I get it figured out.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

.............. .Planning

Sorry for the quiet.  We're in planning mode here!  It seems that all my time on the computer is taken up with planning for various events.  Here's my current list.  (You can see why I'm a bit frazzled lately!)

Social Butterfly's Birthday - March 17th

Dad's Birthday - March 29th

Vacation to North Carolina - Spring Break

Jetter's Confirmation - April 14th

Jetter's First Communion - April 24th

School for next year.  (Yes, already making plans!)

Add to the above the need to plan on a weekly basis for our school work, menus, shopping lists, etc.

This is a busy time but you know, I really love the planning!  Everything looks so nice all layed out on paper.  The hard part is when things don't go as planned, which happens often around here.  I think God is trying to remind me that He is ultimately in charge!  So I'll make these plans making sure we have the right clothing for each event, the right food packed or prepared, the right gifts purchased, the right curriculum for each child and their individual needs ...  But God will decide how things go.  I just trust and know that His plan is the best!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

...................Interesting Conversation

These two boys can be best friends one day, worst enemies the next.  I suppose that's pretty normal for brothers.  When they are getting along, their conversations can be quite interesting. 

Here's one  I overheard today that I thought was particularly amusing.  First the setting:  The two boys were playing with their Legos and for some reason or another they started arguing.
Jetter:  "Well, your ugly"
Builder:  (silence)
Jetter: (Feeling guilty now because he really is a good hearted kid) "No, you're not really ugly.  You probably look good enough to get married, if you weren't going to be a priest."
Builder:  "Yah, it's a good thing I'm going to be a priest.  I'd probably have 100 ladies fighting over who would get to marry me."
Jetter: "Yep."

Builder has been saying he's going to be a priest for a long time now, which is interesting in itself because he's the one that always gets in trouble for misbehaving at Mass.  I think he's going to have to grow in humility before he becomes a priest though.  I'd say he's a bit vain.