Saturday, December 18, 2010

what ever did homeschoolers do before youtube?

so my curriculum tells me to gather an assortment of information on each of our unit studies throughout the year. supposedly, i need to compile newspaper clippings, magazine articles, books, pictures, and what nots on specific topics like water, space, animals, etc...

i have the grandest intentions.

but typically, on monday when we start a new unit, i begin with something like, "lets see what google can tell us about insects!"

and we gather around and watch fascinating videos on youtube.

because yes, there are fascinating videos out there... like, who knew ants were this amazing? or that an octopus can camouflage itself or do this!?!

(and should you be a homeschooler or completely bored at work, you must watch the links above.)

and also, we got an ant farm.

its very educational and homeschool-y of us.

let me just say its quite fascinating watching them work so stinkin hard. and work together so well to make all these tunnels. i mean, i do feel a little guilty. i don't know why they are digging. they are trapped in a plastic container. but nevertheless it provides us with much entertainment.

and when they sleep, all 25 of them cluster up in one big ball. its kinda cute. and also kinda reminds me of what our bed is starting to look like at night. which is not so cute. i could do without mason draping himself across my face all night long.

but then again, it is better than the alternative. actually getting up a million times to go to his room and telling him to stop screaming for daddy.

in other fun news, ella and i went to the nutcracker the other day.
bennett was a little sad he wasn't going but i told him he would probably just be bored. to which he responded, "yeah, and we are going to have so much fun here with daddy. we are going to have pillow fights and play uno."

and then ella proceeded to coach him on how to beat daddy at uno. its becoming serious around here, all the uno playing. ella refuses to lose. she'll draw 50 cards to get a draw 4 if her opponent called uno. we've had games last over an hour. seriously.

i try to hide my annoyance.

i don't think i'm very good at it.

anyhow, the nutcracker ballet was fun. (but really, shouldn't men, like, layer up or wear something besides white? just saying...)
on the way home, ella asked if she could do it next year.

"like, be in the show? can we look up online how i can do it?"
(all this youtubing has actually taught my kids something. basically, the answer to anything can be found online...)

"yeah, we'll have to start with ballet lessons for like a billion years."

ella thinks for awhile. "ok, so can you see online about me doing ballet. and if its too expensive, maybe i can do some work for you to earn some money to pay for it myself?"

that's one determined, responsible child.

and apparently, one super cheap mom.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


"kindergarten is like... the hardest thing i've ever had to do." -ella some days, i feel the same way.

overall, things are going great. but there are those days...

days i'm sure the kindergarten teacher down the street at the "official" school would certainly not have to deal with the drama i do.
the true colors of a 6 year old are reserved just for moms.

teaching ella is teaching a perfectionist.

you need to know that perfectionism drives me crazy. this is why over the years i have
"encouraged" my husband in "subtle" ways out of his perfectionistic tendencies.

he probably just thinks he has evolved into the well adjusted, perfect human he is today.

the truth is, it was all me.

anyhow, i don't have the energy for another perfectionist in my house. especially one i have the responsibility of educating. while ella is practicing her writing, amidst gasps of frustration and exasperated body language, this is what i hear in response to my encouragement.

"ella, you are doing a great job writing your s's."

(emphasis on sarcasm begins here.)

"ya... if you like s's that look like 5's."

"oh, ya, that one's
great... if you like backward s's."

"well, i'd like this one if it didn't look so ugly."

then, of course, is her tendency to question everything.

"why do i have to start the S from the top? if i don't will it collapse or something?"

i believe this trait will get her far in life.
that is, if we can make it through kindergarten.

there are many moments, granted me by a gracious
God who knows i need the encouragement, when the lights are on, the mind is working, and ella is learning and growing.

during the circle time the other day (which involves all children and can be a complete disaster) we were talking about the book of proverbs and knowledge vs. wisdom.
"we" who were talking about it was actually just me, while mason was launching off the couch onto my head and bennett was knocking stacks of pillows onto the bible.

so at the speedy conclusion of the lesson, ella gives me this "knowing" smile and says, "mommy, that was a real good lesson. thanks."

awww... just what i needed to make it one more day.
and then there is the presidents. i have these flashcards and the kids love learning about them and remembering them in order.

its really bad when they ask me questions about particular leaders and i can't find the answer on the back and i want to say, hey, don't look at me! i never even knew we had a president named franklin pierce and the only reason i know so much about john adams is because i saw the extremely well done miniseries on him with stellar actors that brought history home to me in a whole new way.

(although, i think the movie could be more aptly titled, "the man married to abigail adams")

(some men are just better because of the women they choose to marry.)

anyhow, then we got to abraham lincoln.

"wow. he is a really stylish man, mom."

ummm... you got that from a .99 flashcard?

upon further study she then said, "and he is really good looking."

to which i wanted to say, "oh just wait until you see who is portraying him in the upcoming movie."

(yes, mom, that is daniel day lewis)

and ella, i realize he may not be all that dazzling upon first glance but wait until you see the intensity of his desperate, courageous dash through a brutal battle to passionately save the life of his one true love. be still my heart.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

congratulations to...

... aubrey!

happy shopping with your $40 at csnstores.

thanks to all of you who participated and thanks to csn for sponsoring this giveaway.