Saturday, February 15, 2014

Homeschool Mothers Journal - Week 37

In my life this week.....

It was the normal busyness this week.  We had several clubs, but I needed to cancel art because of neck & back pain.  This cold, snowy weather has been hurting me bad this year.  My fibromyalgia is causing swollen muscles in my neck, chest and back.  When this happens lots of chest pains and easily injured neck muscles.  Because of this I slept just the right way to cause a neck muscle to get pinched.  It's been a week and I can turn my neck for the most part now, but usually with pain.

I am working hard at keeping my patience, but each morning is a true test of strength.  Joey and Brayden need meds, but when they wake up there are no meds in their systems.  So it is a challenge as they both do things they cannot control.  They are loud, waking up the girls.  They challenge with speech they have heard is inappropriate, and actions that are also inappropriate.  People look at me funny when I say I have to shelter the boys....but this is why.  Inappropriate behaviors they see then get repeated like Tourette's Syndrome.  Both boys OCDs are so severe, they do exhibit ticks when their meds are low in their systems.  Teenage hormones make it worse.

In our homeschool this week.....

The boys started a science unit in the human body.  I am including hands-on projects and videos to make this an "all-inclusive" learning experience for them.  We use Brain Pop daily for various topics in science, history and even literature.  A friend posted a fun playdough montessori activity, and since the boys were getting ready to start a unit study in the human body, I decided to include it for them.  I figured that hands-on playdough will help sensory learning and including not only the textbook but also the videos all levels of learning will be covered.  This week they built a skeleton with playdough.

The boys are both also working really well with reading comprehension activities.  I chose a book for each of them, hoping it would challenge them.  Fortunately I was able to buy reading comprehension questions from various sites, including Reading Comprehension Activities.  Brayden has been refusing to read a book unless it is a Level 1 or a Spongebob book.  I finally got him reading other easy readers, but I knew he could do more.  So I chose Box Car Children #1 for him and Joey is reading The Lemonade War.  I was fully expecting Brayden to throw a fit.  But I find him doing his reading first now.  He seems to really be enjoying the book.

Lydia is almost done with her first Minecraft class, that Mommy doesn't teach, and she is doing well.  She is trying hard to read, but gets frustrated.  I see her struggling with some words and word blends, so been watching that.  Next week we'll continue to practice these and I ordered a game on word blends to play with her.  She is really taking to her math facts, so we are going to continue memorizing those using her Math Dice Jr. game I got on sale last week.  I also pulled out the Hot Dots addition cards for her.  We started working with Money again.  She has been struggling with money, so I thought we would spend a couple weeks practicing adding/subtracting money.  Really concentrate on it.  She had a good week though.

Caty and I worked on Berenstain Bears Count their Blessings.  We talked about what we are thankful for and even made a wreath listing all the things that we are thankful we have.

She is enjoying the Berenstain Bear Books.  She likes me reading them to her and then we find the videos on Youtube for each book.  I like them because they do teach so much about character.  I haven't went full "five in a row" style with them, but they are a great literature addition to our week.  This week Caty started early addition using blocks.  And has continued working with Teach your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.  We are also practicing her first round of sight words.

All-in-all we had a good school week.  Brayden did balk every time I reminded him to start school, but I think he is enjoying using All-in-One-Homeschool Easy Peasy.  All the kids are doing well using this program.  I do add in activities for each of them.  The items I add are areas where the kids need some strengthening skills.  

The kids had their first 4H meeting also for this year.  This year we have all 4 kids in 4H.  The boys are in with the older kids, and the girls are in Cloverbuds.  We have projects picked out for the boys and have started working on them.  The girls enjoyed Cloverbuds a lot.  

Projects I am working on......

Yeah...lots and lots of Minecraft.  I am so proud of myself.  I was able to trouble shoot a server issue yesterday without Joe's help!!  I have to say, I couldn't believe it.  For the past few weeks, if a student had issues I just let him deal with it.  Yesterday he was busy and the parents called me, and with Joey screaming in the background that he was trying to play with this student, I felt pressure to fix it right then.  It took me a couple wrong guesses, but I figured it out!!

I am working on lots of new classes.  That takes a lot of time.  People do not realize that spend up to 5 hours per class each week tweeking it and trying to make sure the information is presented in a good way for kids to understand (at all levels).  So it's a bit of a challenge to keep up.

This weekend, there's more Minecraft work for Homeschool with Minecraft.  We need to catch up on housework and laundry.  I may freeze a couple meals too.  Especially since Tuesdays seem to be turning into pizza night.  I don't like ordering pizza like that.  The cost is too much.  So I need to plan better on Tuesdays and starting next month Wednesdays also.  School lessons need to be planned out also for the kids and their to-do lists printed.

What I am cooking this week.....

We had sloppy joes, baked chicken with veggies, and tacos.  I ordered pizza one night.  

This next week... I want to make some salads, beef stew, baked chicken with veggies, sloppy joes, tacos of course, chicken alfredo, sweet potato hash, augratin potatoes, spaghetti, and of course more potato soup.  I think I may throw in some hamburger gravy with mashed potatoes too.  I would also like some sausage and kraut with fried potatoes.  It sounds really yummy.

Breakfasts have been cereal and smoothies this past week, and we'll continue that.  With all the kids waking at various times, it just makes sense.  But oatmeal sounds really good too.  So I may make oatmeal in crockpot one more so they can get it as they wake up.

Photos from our week....

The girls had American Girl Club this week also.  It was our last meeting on Rebecca.  One of moms came up with the idea to re-create Coney Island for the kids.  So all the girls worked hard to make old-fashioned carnival games to play at our meeting.

Caty and I came up with a "pop" the balloon game using a Nerf dart gun.

Lydia made a Plinko game.

One of the girls made a ball toss with pom poms for the "dolls" to play with their friends.  It was cute.

I didn't get a chance to get pictures of all the games.  The games were wonderful!!!  All the girls did a great job.  

The girls also had zoo class this week, so we got there a bit early so we could visit the butterfly house finally.

Lydia and I have been studying about the Titanic because of the exhibit that was opening at our local science museum.  We have been studying about hypothermia and buoyancy.  The exhibit opened this week and we went to the members preview event.  ( pics in there.) But I gave in and bought our picture from the first part of the exhibit.

We had a pretty good week, even with our ups and downs of moods.  Hope everyone else had a great week too.

Linking up with other parents at So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler. 

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