Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Three comments that make me believe homeschooling Scrunch is going to be an adventure.

#1. "Mom, are Queen bees real?" "Yes." "Do they wear crowns?"
#2. "Mom, I have a question." (She says that at least forty seven times a day.) "What's your question?" "What do I do if I see a mountain lion and I'm not wearing my shirt?" (She's been taught that you pull your shirt up over your head to make yourself look bigger. Also, she was not wearing a shirt when she asked me this."
#3. "We have to find a screech owl Mom! I need to hear what it sounds like. We just have to!"

Tomorrow is the "first day" of school. I hope the schultute's are a hit. How did I not know about these before last week?!? They are a German tradition for the first day of school. Like a Back to School stocking- how can you not love that?

This is going to be a trip. Porkchop is being included. After a couple trial runs last week it became very clear that if he isn't, he will turn my house on its head. Juju naps for most of our planned "school" time and the rest of the time she is content to rock her babies and throw popcorn or carrots at Jango.

We met Scrunch's CT (certified teacher) last week and so far she is awesome. I'm very impressed. She is young, super sweet, a mom of kid's the same ages as mine so she totally gets it, an experienced teacher, and super organized. Scrunch seemed to like her and has been asking when she's coming back. Because we are with a public homeschool charter we will meet with her every 20 days. She has been very easy to work with and ordered my curriculum right away. It showed up on my porch tonight- which was awesome.

Not that you care, but in case you's my plan.

Each morning we will do Copywork and work on memorization.
Penmanship- Handwriting Without Tears
Phonics- I have two different Hooked on Phonics sets. Also Explode the Code workbooks.
Five in a Row- (You read the same book every day for the week and do activities correlating with the book. We'll also incorporate lapbooking with this.
Math- Life of Fred Apples and Right Start Math
Our Island Story for history.
Burgess Bird Book for Children- part of our nature studies. I plan to do the Outdoor Hour Challenges each week.
Art- Child Sized Masterpieces. My kids love art so we'll continue with doing artists studies and some projects like we did for art camp.
I also ordered Math Card Games.
Science will be worked in with Five in a Row as well as each month we have a theme. We have a family read aloud that we're working through too.

I have a planning binder that use to help plan the year. My most helpful portion of it was the schedule with the little quarter sticky notes. I have a page for the kids and one for me. This is more of a routine than a schedule, but it helped me find a place for everything I needed to get done in a week and if changes need to be made I can move them around or put in a new sticky.

I decided to leave most of my homeschooling supplies accessible until the very last minute. They will be the last thing packed and the first thing unpacked.

In a perfect day in a perfect world this is my daily plan. Look Jess! Visual schedules! Jess is my sister who teaches special ed. She suggest visual schedules for me a while ago and they totally work for my ADD. I found the pocket folders in the dollar section at Target. I used letter stickers and my laminator and it's hanging on the side of our workbox. 

The magnet board is another visual schedule we've been using for a few weeks. Each magnet is a different job. Most of them are pet related so I know everyone gets fed and my plants are watered.. They get moved to the bottom when they are completed. 

On the other side of the workbox is a list of elective subjects. Every day we'll do handwriting, phonics, reading, and math and then add a fun elective or two. This is a reminder for me so I don't forget what I have planned. 

On top of our workbox is a calendar and a caddy for each kid with supplies they might need. This is to hopefully prevent the need to get up and down and up and down and up and down. The workbox system is something I heard about a long time ago and I just like the idea. I'm hoping it will work with Scrunch to eliminate some of the "when are we done?" "how much more?" that is bound to come up. Each box contains everything she will need for that activity. Start with #1 and when it's done move the velcro-ed number to the other side and go on to #2. Obviously most of these we'll be working through together. There are snacks in a couple of the boxes. At #4 she's done till lunch.

I've found that the days we are home go so much more smoothly when I pre-pack or make our lunch ahead of time, that's why it's on the routine before school even starts. I spent the afternoon bagging carrots and other snacks so they are pre-prepared for the week. All the fruit is washed and veggies cut. I read about a woman who uses boxes on the counters to manage snacks and I started doing it. I have a basket on the counter with three dry snacks for each kid and then another in the fridge with three fresh snacks. It works and I don't hear, "I'm hungry!!" all day long.

So, this is my plan. I'm sure it's going to need lots of tweaking and flexibility for things like, um..moving and such but I like routine and I like labels so for tonight, it works.

Monday, August 19, 2013


It's not a medical term.

Or a fancy chocolate.

It's a goat. And I am obsessed. Like to the point of emailing all the major local breeders, and even one in Arizona and two local smaller farms to find what I'm looking for. And I've found them!

We're taking a field trip to see them in a couple of days and if I love them they will be ours. Their current owner will keep them until mid-September when I will bring them home and we will have the beginnings of own little herd. And I will milk my goat! Husband is just as excited to go check them out because with them is a little wether kid who will make a nice little backpacking and camping buddy when he gets older. Plus, they'll all help clear the brush from the property.

I know this seems like I've gone off my rocker, but this has been something we've been thinking about for months. I was planning on waiting till, oh you know, we moved..but I found what I'm looking for and they aren't the easiest to come by.

So, there you go. You learned a new word. Oberhasli. Now, I need some good goat names. Or I'll just ask Porkchop. Today he asked me if I can start calling him 'Carlos'. I dunno...I don't ask questions. I'm thinking Magic Schoolbus might have had something to do with it.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I have had the equivalent of what you might get if you licked the bottom of your child's shoe after they went to the fair- complete with petting zoo, carnival rides, and nasty food shacks. Or the bathroom floor mat of a cruise line. At the same time things were looking a little shaky in terms of real estate negotiations. I swear I didn't lick anything so I don't know where it came from, but holy crap! I was sick. It was not pretty. But I took some super cute pictures from my bed, not bath, and posted them on Instagram throughout the day.

Once things things cleared up on all fronts, I started packing. And I've been packing on and off for three days.

All of this excitement led to some great texting with Holly and the creation of a new blog. You see it was her birthday and she is one of my very favorite of people. Should I die she is to inherit my orange vintage chairs and my bunnies. No joke. It's in my will. So, my birthday gift to her was to share my new favorite word. Exhaustipated- Too tired to give a crap. We lol-ed, and lol-ed because we think we're funny. And I felt like less of a loser for not sending a card. The blog comes in because then she called me. "Is it supposed to look like that?!?!" She's painting her kitchen cabinets. "Yeah. Don't worry. Give it another coat and then decide."

Holly purchased a 1950's house in SoCal near the beach. I never will forgive her for that, but whatever. And I am about to buy a 1980's cape cod style in the mountains with probably the ugliest bathroom floors I've ever seen. Between the two of us, the projects are never, never, never ending. And we always joked we'd write a blog together. So one day when everything seemed to go to crap, I sent her a text. "I just created our new blog." You guys will read it right? Like a bad train wreck that you just can't look away...This House Crap Is Exhaustipating. Coming to a blogger near you!

Are you excited?!? I am. So. Freaking. Excited! I didn't pack today. Instead, we went up and measured fence lines, debated fencing options, and plotted orchard locations. I am totally overwhelmed and excited, and holding my breath until we close. Two weeks. Two more weeks!

Scrunch coloring the boxes.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

At night during the commercials of America's Got Talent we quickly rate our favorites and then talk about whether or not we are doing the right thing. 

We are about to do a 180 in our lifestyle and the way the raise our family. We currently live in a newer house in an upper middle class security patrolled neighborhood on a golf course with private lake, tennis courts, hiking and biking trails, and access to an award winning elementary school. And we do love it here, but when escrow closes we'll own an old yellow house on a wooded five acre lot where (at some point) we'll have goats, chickens, ducks, a crazy amount of work, and we'll start our first year homeschooling. It is what we've hoped and talked about what we'd do "when we grow up" and I guess my most recent birthday signaled my growing up. I am a grown up now! Weird.

Scrunch has started to catch on that when we move we're going to have a much larger backyard. It didn't take but a day or two for her to start making her own list. It includes a chinchilla (what is with her obsession with chinchillas?!?), a pig that we cannot kill, a tortoise, and of course what every five year old girl asks for- a pony. Last week's horse camp only added fuel to the fire. Maybe she can magic one up when she gets that pixie dust for Christmas.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

So, it's my birthday. Don't feel bad if you feel like you missed the memo. I changed my birthday on FB. Somehow the random birthday wishes from acquaintances I might have stood in the grocery checkout line once upon a time seem a little impersonal to me.

Plus, I forgot too. I scheduled the appraisal = all day cleaning and the missionaries for dinner. I am not old enough to start forgetting my own birthday! Chalk it up to being a little preoccupied. But if I had remembered and I wasn't already maxed on my birthday budget with little things like water filtration maintenance (woohoo.) then my top five picks would be...

Ooh, ooh, oooh. I just remembered. My sister asked what fun thing I did to celebrate my birthday. Yesterday I went to Target by myself! And we're slowly catching up on America's Got Talent. Cuz we know how to party.

Back to my birthday picks...

This would look so good in the entry way of the new place. Yellow house, red front door, this just works! It's a needlepoint kit by Emily Peacock.


Herb scissors. Yeah, I don't even know why. 

Now that's just cute.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Me and my first world problems.

I thought I kept a clean house. And then I had to have it "show ready" for two weeks.

Wowzas. Where does all the dust and goobies come from?

Have you seen that quote, "A clean house is the sign of a mis-spent life." Well, I'm going back to my old, less "show ready", life. After Wednesday. Then I will start packing. We have home inspections and appraisals until then. The good news is that the roof inspection checks out on the (new to us, but old enough to need a tune-up) house. This is good.

Also, Scrunch is at horse camp every day this week. She was so nervous and excited that she hardly said a word the whole way there. That is somethin'.

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