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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Blog to be...

I've so enjoyed reading dozens of different blogs as I decide what direction I want this one to go. As I sit here the week before Christmas, at 11:30pm, holding my 7 month old who won't lie down, I have dozens of different ideas.  I want to post "What's cooking" as I am loving my experimentation with everything from pork and sweet potato stew to cauliflower waffles.  Of course there is homeschooling.  I'm hoping to start the year with the boxes for know where you take 12 boxes and fill with activities.  Then there is the home remodel, life simplification, and of course parenting in general.  I think I need to start with a new name for my blog...hmmmmmm

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Menu ideas-Dec.

Slop: ground meat, gravy, peas over rice
Chicken Devan: Lactose free
Sloppy Joes: Pioneer Woman style
Spaghetti: Homemade of course
Shepherds Pie
Hamburgers with potato wedges
Polish sausage and kraut with potatoes
Chicken and rice
Homemade chicken nuggets
Chili, brauts, corn bread

Where did the days go?

It's been over a month since I wrote simply because life is busy! We've all been through so many virus' lately I can hardly count!  School has been fun with trips to the planetarium and fishing. The kids are done with BRICC so now it's time for holiday fun and learn learn learning!  It is really important for me to instill a simplified life in my children and this continues to be a constant challenge.  We leave tomorrow for Tennessee and a Thanksgiving feast that will be anything but simple.  When we get back, I hope to establish our menu for all of December (skipping the weekly stuff), establish a grocery list for the month, and maybe make a list of one thing to do daily to make our household simplier.  The month of December will focus on how we can give to others this holiday season and the joy one has when doing so.  We are starting small, with the guy outside Walmart ringing the bell.  Eventually, Rooster will be volunteering at the Ronald McDonald house.  He has such a kind heart that I really want to take advantage of while it's young!  Peanut is getting out of control these days with her 4 year old antics that are clearly a call for attention. I think some mommy/daughter time is in store this month if only Jelly Belly would allow it.  Speaking of, she has another cold so it might be a long night...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The search for Simplicity

For some time now, I have been on a search for simplicity in my life and that of my family.  I look at my children in awe of how they can remember the smallest detail of any given moment.  Through my years of schooling, I know this occurs because their little minds are simple.  Our minds are cluttered which is why I can't even remember where I left my glasses this morning.  It goes even beyond our minds though.  My home he is full of "things" that serve no purpose in our daily lives.  The Wii game we had to have, the swing every baby needs, the toaster oven I might use next month.  I try to declutter, purge, etc. I even took 5 bags of clothes and 6 boxes of stuff to donation last week yet the "stuff" keeps showing up.  Then we clutter our schedules.  Pictures for the kids, dinner with the neighbors, play groups, helping a friend, etc.  Before you know it, another year has past that you wonder where it went.  Simplicity in life is far from simple to define.  I'm certain though that it involves sustainable living, decluttering, and not keeping up with the Jones.  Stay tuned as we continue our homeschooling journey and try to teach our children that the simple life is truly the enjoyable life.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

World Fair

So we decided to meet monthly with two other homeschooling families to have the kids present information on specific countries.  September was Africa and we focused on the country of Ethiopia.  I think mom learned just as much as kids.  Brayden and Teagan helped make a poster board presentation that included a hut, food samples, entertainment, work and a map.  I was so incredibly proud of Brayden.  When it was his turn, he took the floor without hesitation and explained what everything on his board was.  He took his time and showed no shyness at all despite their being two parents and four other kids.  I almost cried!
Well we have started using a new source, Learning Path which has increased our daily agenda quite a bit.  Brayden is mastering things much quicker than anticipated and he keeps me on my toes.  This week we are focusing on England as our next World Fair is next week.  We are working on clapping syllables, letter sounds and site words.  We will be making a book for Brayden to practice reading.  We have also started talking about our bodies and making collages about ourselves.  We hope to make some "guts" as they call it later in the week. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

September 25, 2010-brief update

It was an eventful week in the Murphy household.  Grandpa arrived on Sunday and has been with us all week.  It is nice to see the kids develop a relationship with my dad.  I have found it a bit harder to homeschool with someone else in the house so we didn't have a particularly productive week.  Wed was Teagan's birthday so it was hard to get any focus from them.  After her party, Ellie came down with a stomach virus so we took Thursday off.  We tried to make up for it Friday but we were all pretty exhausted.  Next week, we will continue our study of Africa with focus on Ethiopia. Our neighbor just adopted a beautiful baby from this country so we are eager to explore their culture.  On Thursday, we will meet with two other homeschoolers and have an African lunch/teach gathering before we all head to co-op.  The kids will need to bring some Ethiopian cuisine for this lunch.  Next week we will turn our writing focus to our names.  Rather than specific letters, they will work on their full names all week.  We will continue site words as the kids did great with this last week.  In science, we will begin talking about fall and the changes going on around us.  Last week, our bird feeders were stolen by the squirrels so we may try them again.  In math, we will work on measurements and coins.  For gym, we are going to return to soccer to keep it fresh in our minds.  I haven't worked out lesson plans yet so who knows what else we'll learn, but that is the fun of homeschooling...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Week 2-Tuesday

Well, today didn't quite go as planned due to doctor appointments; however, we tried to make the best of it and worked on our numbers in the elevator.  We talked about how the ear functions while waiting for the ENT to arrive and looked at the insides of a human which the kids love to refer to as "guts."  Yesterday was great as we dived into our lesson on Africa.  Brayden made a great picture of a desert with road runners while Teagan's looked more like a mirage.  Later this week, we will explore the toys made in Africa by tribes and some pretty gross looking mush for food.  Brayden really wants to learn more about Anacondas so we will be exploring that in science class.  The kids have already shown some progress with their writing but I think I'm going to push them even more with that.  Tomorrow, they will become sketch artists as we sit outside and draw our house.  The important lesson being memorizing their address.  Brayden has really  become good at soccer and often scores.  He waits until Teagan gets ready and then uses that opportunity.  This has given him confidence and he now wants to play soccer with other kids.  We are looking for a team but appear to be a few weeks too late so maybe in the spring.  Next week we will probably move on to a winter sport to see if we can get him interested in that.
I still feel like I'm not quite organized and I'm not sure how these kindergarten teachers do it!

Friday, September 10, 2010

The beginning of BTE Homeschool

I decided to begin a blog on our homeschooling days for several reasons.  I wanted a record of the work we completed for not only the district, but for my children.  I also wanted to share our experience with those interested and hopefully receive some useful comments to help us learn and grow.  So if your here to learn about homeschooling or follow our adventure, we welcome you on this most exciting journey.

Our first week began following the Labor Day holiday.  Growing up in Michigan, this always signaled that summer was over and school was ready to begin.  I just couldn't conform to the Lexington start date of early August, to me, that was still summer time.  One week prior, Brayden and Teagan began attending BRICC, a co-op for homeschoolers.  We talked in depth about school and how we would be attending school at home.  Brayden was so excited for school to start and quickly acknowledged that I was his teacher and his house was his school. 

Our first week was quite a challenge.  I had carefully created lesson plans utilizing various books, Internet searches, and local school activities.  What I didn't anticipate was that we would complete my whole weeks worth of plans in one day!  Brayden was a sponge for anything I put before him.  Initially, Teagan followed his lead but she quickly became bored when we left the singing, work sheets and soccer for more serious discussions on recycling, the bible, and computers. 

Now that our first week is over, I've learned quite a bit and am changing my curriculum.  Next week, we will buckle down on letter recognition, writing, and letter sounds.  We will also begin to explore Africa by learning what toys kids play with, what they eat, and the wonderous African Savanah.  We will continue to read our children's bible each day and learn more about the sign of the cross.  There will be plenty of books to read, especially after our weekly trip to the library.  We also plan to do a few lessons on friendship especially with all the new friends they have been making through Co-op, and our two play groups.  I haven't decided what direction to take with Science, Art and PE yet, but I'm sure they will continue to be the highlight of the week!