Sunday, February 27, 2011

Art and Music for Homeschoolers...

Both of the boys seem to have some natural abilities that they would like to expand on. Bailey likes to write creatively. He also likes to draw and paint. Braeden likes all things music. As parents do, we are trying to work on helping them explore these natural abilities.

Bailey really enjoyed the art curriculum that he worked on with Time4Learning. So much so, that he went through and it completed it twice! But we are trying to find a new program for him to start on. Easier said than done, especially when you live in the boonies.

While we keep looking, the educator's discount at Barnes and Noble has come in very handy. They have a decent selection of "How to Draw" type books. There's also eBay and Amazon.

Braeden's a little harder to work with. Finding a homeschool music program is harder than one would think. Makes sense though, since you really need a lot of one on one time with instruments and instructors. We did find a good website with some music games, however. He plays around and is enjoying it so far. We will try to fit music lessons into our budget, when he finally decides what instrument he would like to try, lol.

I know this is short and not really updating you on us or anything, but we all have the plague. Well...I don't think it's really the plague. But we all feel like it could be. All four of us are hacking and coughing and sneezing. We've gotten to the point where we are kinda harmonizing our "achoos" and our "hacks," so at least we're humoring ourselves...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Proud Mommy and Wife Moment...

Here is the link for everyone to read Bailey's first attempt at creative writing.  The hubs posted it on his blog...

The Kings Life – A Guest Story By Bailey

Oh hey...look at me...plugging both the son AND the hubs.  :D

Wait... Spring???!!!

Yep. Feels like Spring here. I'm not complaining, the weather has been beautiful and we have enjoyed it. But what the heck happened to January and February?   

Anyway, like I said, we are enjoying the warmer temps. It's nice to have the doors and windows open. The boys are finally playing outside. After the wonky winter we had (waaaay more snow than normal), it's nice to put on a pair of shorts for the afternoon.

Soccer sign ups are happening this week. I swear we just finished the fall season but both of the boys are looking forward to playing again.  

Oh! Big news...we did something we have been wanting to do for a few years now but haven't been able to financially. We signed the boys up for Masters Academy of Fine Arts!!!! We are super excited! They will start this fall. MAFA is a fine arts program for homeschoolers. They will meet once a week and the kids are separated by age range. The boys are excited about the music and drama, but they are really looking forward to the opportunity to meet other homeschoolers. We know other homeschoolers now, but this is the first time in a long while where we will be meeting homeschoolers for the first time. It will also give Braeden, who has never been to public school, a feel for a little structure and a classroom type setting. 

Braeden is feeling better and better about reading and spelling. It takes a little prodding every now and then, but he's working on it. A good spelling curriculum helps. We are starting with sight words (I hate sight words. I really wish we could spell everything phonetically. Just saying.) and will progress from there. He's got some basic words down. Cat. Dog. Spongebob.  :D

Bailey is working on his creative writing. He has finished his first story (I am going to post a link to it in just a bit) and we are SOOOOOOOOOO proud of him! I know it takes a lot of courage to put something like that out there for the world to see, but he wanted to do it. He is already working on ideas for another story too. He is going to take a writing course starting next month and he is going to work on some grade level vocabulary, to build on and improve his skills. Simply awesome! 

Hope everyone has a great week...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine Weekend...

So this past week went really well. I worked fewer hours and had more time at home with the boys. We all were very pleased about that!

Bailey has been reading like a fiend!! Before he got his nook, I think it took him 6 months to get through the first half of the first Percy Jackson book. Just since Christmas, he has finished all 5 of the Percy Jackson books, he's finished The Hobbit AND he's almost half way through The Fellowship of the Ring.

Yes, for real!!!

The Lord of the Rings!!!!!!!!!!

Yaaaaay for miraculous transformations (and gadgets...I have to give credit where credit is due...)!

Braeden is even making improvements. He thinks as soon as he learns to read more efficiently, he's getting a phone to text with. We've tried to tell him that isn't going to happen, but he's still trying, lol. We probably will get him his own nook though.

As far as school goes, they are still doing the "mostly child-led with a little prompting from us" thing.  They are getting better with the self-motivation. We don't really encounter as much as resistance to the online work anymore. Even though the "child-led" thing is going on, we try to encourage them to do some homeschool printables.

They don't dig this as much, and I can't blame them. I'd rather do everything on the computer too. But if they can make it through a couple of handwriting worksheets (which is the most tedious for them), then I'm happy.

Yesterday I had a much needed scrap day. I know, it sounds selfish to take a day for myself when I miss the boys so much. But scrapping is about the only way for me to give my brain some time off.  Tracy and I spent 14 (nope, not a typo) hours at Archiver's, minus some time for dinner at Steak N' Shake, and had a fabulous time!

Today we are having our family Valentine thing. Every year, rather than the hubs and I celebrating by ourselves, we do a family thing. The past couple of years it's been dinner and a movie. We are keeping with that tradition this year. The boys have been begging to see Gnomeo and Juliet so we are taking them to see that. The title of the movie alone makes me giggle, so I'm hoping Walter and I can enjoy it along with the boys. :)

Hope everyone's Valentine's Day is filled with love!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Lazy Sunday...

What a week... 55 hours later and I'm home today and planning on spending the entire day in my pajamas!

Fortunately this past week was the big bad as far as tax weeks go. Things are still going to be busy, but not crazy. Should start having my weekends back, and even a few extra hours at home during the week.

I know I was supposed to do a drawing for the blogging 101 giveaway today, but I think I'm going to give it one more week and do the drawing next Sunday, February 13. I want to give everyone more time to enter the contest. It really is a great program for anyone who wants to know how to start a blog. I know I make it look so easy (*wink*), but that's because I took the same course.  :)

Remember, the course won't be teaching writing necessarily, but it will offer a lot of information. Things like how to market your blog, blogging safety, sidebar gadgets and widgets, and more. Go comment on the Blogging 101 Giveaway post now. I'll wait...

Really. I'll wait. Go there now.

All done?

K, thanks. :)

Have I mentioned already that I'm going to be spending today in my jammies? Can you tell I'm excited about that? Wanna know what else I'm excited about?

It's Super Bowl Sunday!!!!

Not really as excited about the game (Go Packers!) as I am about what's on after the game... a new episode of Glee!

Yaaaaaay!  I've been having withdrawals. I don't think my work mates appreciate my 10 hours of Glee Soundtrack every day...