Thursday, December 31, 2009

Let the Ball Drop!

*** Cross-posted at all the Lotsofkids blogs. ***

It's New Year's Eve (at least in this part of the world). 2009 is almost gone and 2010 is standing before us. It was a difficult year for many people. Financial hardships and insecurity made the year a struggle for so many. That said, even though things were hard, the trials led so many back to focusing on what is important, such as family and friends, as well as simple living.

2009 was a difficult time for us over at Lotsofkids, as we had to focus our spare time on projects to help make money to pay the bills, including our server costs. Though things are not particularly better now, we are thankfully at a point where we can re-focus on the site and our blogs like we want to.

A big "thank you" to all of our followers here, as well as our wonderful Bloggers who have kept things going during this down time. We appreciate you all! We are looking forward to 2010 and hopes for better times. We are excited as the prospects and hopeful that in the coming weeks we'll be getting things back to normal with regular blog posts and new content.

In the meantime (and while there is still a couple days left in the "holiday" season), we leave you with a little visual/musical gift created by me and my husband. We hope you like it...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Our last school year together.

As we progress thru this year I am once again finding myself thinking about our final year of home schoolin with our 4th child. I always go thru this but I find myself wondering and hoping I have done all I can for Michael to be a success in life. He is strong willed and I know he knows his lessons well and is a hard worker. But still I cant help wonder did I do enough. I have been reflecting back on our learning adventure over these past 18 years, I say 18 because the lessons begin as soon as our blessings enter this world. I have watched him grow from a little boy to a young man. From needing all kinds of help and support to just knowing we are now there if he needs us. I have watched his dreams change over the years and as he enters adulthood I know deep down he is ready.

I guess I am just going to close today to say enjoy your children because they grow so fast and I know sometimes homeschooling is a challenge but if I could go back in time I wouldn't change a thing and would homeschool all over again. As our time with our children is short and homeschooling them gives us a chance to be with them a little more and know that when they enter the world as young adults we have helped prepare them for it.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October news

As we enter Fall we have fell back into our routines with schooling full time (we do school work part time in the summer). Everything is going right along we are staying on schedule. This month we start the book it program again, We will be visiting the oldest apple tree, a pumpkin patch, apple press and the grist mill and a dentist office to see how all the neat things work.

We have started a really fun unit in science on weather. Which works out well as the girls also have a badge they can earn in their American Heritage girl group about weather.

We are learning about Columbus in History and all kinds of other things in our other classes.

Marissa is adding a little extra into her religion class because she will be celebrating her First Reconciliation. So we have chose to do the class at home. She will also be earning her religious medal in AHG.

Michael is still taking horticulture at a local school and he loves it. He only has a few classes that he needs to graduate this year. So he is usually done with his work early in the day.

Carissa is getting into her 1st grade routine she is a little headstrong so sometimes it is a challenge. But thankfully we have always had routines and she knows what is expected so she does it in a reasonable amount of time. She received a 100 on her first spelling test and was thrilled.:)

Larissa is doing well in her K work and we are getting ready to enroll her in a speech class. I guess my biggest fear of not wanting her labeled was the reason I hadn't done it. But I have taken her as far as I can without some help from a speech therapist. So we found a nice private speech therapist who seems really nice.

Tarissa Jean is only in prek but loves to have work to do when everyone else does. So we are working on shapes and colors right now.

So we are off to a great start.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Halloween!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

happy September

Hi all,
How is everyone doing? Summer is over here and the chill is in the air, so we set out for another full school year. I cant help think of school years gone by just call me sentimental I guess.
Well, our curriculum is from Seton and we totally love it. We get alot of skeptism from some for our choice of books. But I have used others and we found this to best suit our childrens needs and ours as well. My dh and I joke this is old school curriculum and is what I was raised with. LOL. Our children have excelled in this curriculum. Our grades this year are a senior, a 2nd grader, a 1st grader, k and a pre k. our older dd has already left for her college classes and our oldest ds has just started on his roll as parenting a school age child also. Our wish for him is to have all the pleasure we have had over the years watching and helping in the development of a wonderous blessing from God.
Now for the month of September we will start out with a couple weeks of getting back in the full routine of school. We have set aside Wednesday afternoons this year to try something new and meet with other homeschoolers at a park for a pe class run by us parents of games and such. I approached some of the other parents about this when I discovered that some of their children hadn't played games that really require more than a couple children, I guess I had never thought about it because I have so many and there is always enough to play games.
This month our field trips will be to an apple orchard and to Oaks Park for their not back to school day.
Have a fun filled year.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

May many chances at lessons

I know I haven't been on in a bit. So I thought I better post.

We have been studying birds I am always so amazed at all the learning chances that come along with Spring. We have been studying birds and were lucky enough to go bird watching and spot some great ones. Bird watching was a little hard on the younger ones so we came home and we spotted a hummingbird in our front yard. We also found a nest that had fallen from the tree so we studyed that and was able to learn how it was built and they were so amazed at what the birds made it out of.

We also have planted many different types of plants so they could watch them grow. I love to watch there faces as they see there seeds sprout in the green house. I know they will love the produce that their plants will provide.

We also are finishing up our lessons for this year. We will continue thru the summer with light lessons.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Tough Time

When I heard that there was a new outbreak of the Swine Flu, I have to admit my response was more of weariness than concern. Now, I'm not downplaying the seriousness of the situation at all. It's a dangerous flu and people have died--that's not good at all. However, over the last couple of months my family has been wracked with one illness after another. Stomach bugs, flu bugs, and severe chest colds. There was one brutal week where literally everyone was so sick there was no one available to play nurse to the others. This culminated in me and 2 of my daughters getting pneumonia a few weeks ago. So, when the Swine Flu news hit, it was more of an "oh no, not more sickies" from me than anything else.

I am sharing this because I know this blog has been a bit slow over the last couple of months. It's been a hard time for my family, as well as some of our other bloggers. Juggling a large crew is difficult enough. Throw in illness and general economic woes and things get even more harried. So, please forgive the quietness around here. It wasn't intentional, and we don't mean it to be permanent. I'm hopeful that this current flu will not turn into the horror story that it could and that soon everyone will be enjoying warm summer weather and be healthy...and blogging again.

I want to thank everyone who has been following this blog for your patience and continued support. We are working on getting things together and having more regular posts. We also hope to do a few interactive things with our readers--so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, remember to wash your hands and keep safe until this latest threat has passed.

***This message is cross-posted on the various LOK Blogs.***

Friday, January 2, 2009

Math Mammoth





Math Mammoth : http://www.mathmammoth.com/





We were blessed to be given the chance to try out Math Mammoth. Math Mammoth was created by Maria Miller, who has a master's degree in mathematics with the teacher educational studies, and minors in physics and statistics. After working with homeschooled students she noticed that the books many homeschoolers used were inferior to what she had used growing up or while studying math. Those experiences prompted her to start writing books especially for homeschoolers. She wanted to create a math curriculum that was easy to teach as well as having it affordable. In addition to Math Mammoth, Maria has also created a website called HomeschoolMath.net which is a wonderful math resource for homeschoolers.

Math Mammoth carries 4 different series of math books which are offered in either pdf form or cd-rom. There is Blue Series (organized by topic for grades 1-5), Light Blue Series (complete curriculum for grades 1-5), Green Series (worksheets organized by topic for grades 3-8), and Golden Series (work sheets organized by topic for grades 3-8).



We were graciously given grade 2 light blue series, green series geometry, and 7th grade golden series to review. With the grade 2 math I found it to be very easy to teach and implement. The graphics are simple which is great for kids who get easily distracted by complex graphics (I have a couple kids with ADHD, so this curriculum is great for us!). This series is a complete curriculum, and for the cost you really can't beat it ($14 each or $27 for both A & B). And then add in that it is reusable, it really is a bargain.



I feel the same with the other series that we used. I like that there are no busy graphics, and that the instructions are easy to follow. The difference with these series and the Blue and Light Blue series is that the Green and Golden series are just worksheets. These are for reinforcement, practice or review...these aren't complete curriculums. But the neat thing about these series are that each workbook is broken into topics, with each page focusing on one topic. There are review pages, but for the most part each page concentrates on one concept. Making easy to assign work to the student. The cost for these series are very reasonable too: Geometry Green Series $7ea; Golden Series 7A $8 (includes cost of answer key) 7B $8.50 (includes cost of answer key).

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Vacation's Almost Over!



I know not everyone is breaking for the holidays, but nonetheless, things usually slow down a bit on the school front (be it home or public) during this time. As we gear up to get heavy-duty schooling again, all of us here at Homeschooling Lots of Kids and Lotsofkids.com would like to wish you and your family a wonderful and productive New Year. May 2009 bring great things for you!