Friday, August 29, 2014

A Day in our Homeschool Life

Happy Friday! J

This is reality blogging for this post as I’m sharing a real day in our homeschool life from this past week. J But it comes with a disclaimer. These types of posts are interesting, but with the time it takes to record everything, the whole day is skewed. These are generalities. This is not a post about our schedule. And if I recorded every giggle, kiss, or bit of help and instruction and correction, I wouldn't have time to do those things, nor would you have time to read it. J

Day 19 of school, Wednesday, August 27, 2014 {the third day back after a three-week break}

8:10 a.m. -- I'm up over an hour later than I had planned, but my husband didn't sleep well and I'm suffering the lingering effects of a nasty cold. These things happen. I start with prayer and plunge ahead -- dressing etc., blog link-ups, email.

8:30 -- The first sleepheady emerges, the 8yo, and cuddles up with her blanket and pillow on the bit of sofa next to the computer. Two little boys quickly follow. I soon hear hair-brushing from the hallway bath. The 12yo is up.

9:00 -- The 12yo is halfway through her first subject. The 10yo is up and dressed and working on science. I've told the 5yo to stop playing the kazoo a couple of times. And I had a good idea for a blog post, so I spent about ten minutes making notes. I poured juice for the 3yo, and I hear noise in the bathroom, so I think the teenager is now up.

9:22 -- I catch the 14yo reading The Sugar Creek Gang when she's supposed to be making her bed. "It's going in Day in the Life," I tell her. "Okay," she sighs. {I’m not upset. I just want to nudge her to get going with her schoolwork.}

9:26 -- The 3yo sits on the potty, but no go.

9:30 -- The 10yo is reading about molds and mildew in science. That starts a discussion about shower curtains and ends with my telling about their Grandpa's allergy to penicillin.

9:35 -- It's quiet, and I sit down with my Bible, prayer journal, and cup of coffee.

10:10 – I attach legs to a cootie for the 3yo in exchange for a kiss, while the 14yo sets the table for breakfast.

10:45 -- The 14yo and 12yo practice a piano duet while the 8yo gets started on spelling words and I pour a second cup of coffee.

11:30 -- The 12yo works on history, the 10yo finishes a math test, the 14yo worries over a science project coming up and I assure her that it'll be fine, the 8yo begins a couple of pages in her language workbook, the 5yo and 3yo try to scare everyone with rubber snakes, and I talk briefly on the phone with my husband about the possibility of the driveway on the new house being poured tomorrow.

12:12 -- As the 14yo asks me a question about a quiz, the 8yo needs me to spell something for her, the 5yo needs direction in his workbook, and the 3yo sits on my lap, I reach the point where I have to remind everyone that I can only handle one person at a time. They quiet down and wait for their turn...sort of. J The 14yo finishes her quiz and helps the 5yo while the 8yo pauses to smile for a photo for y'all.

12:30 – I catch the 14yo reading The Sugar Creek Gang again. She claims it's due back to the library tomorrow. 

12:32 -- Now the children have caught on that what they do may end up on the blog, and so we're listening to the 10yo try to crack his knuckles. J

12:45 -- Time for alphabet flashcards with the 5yo, but he's lost them in the morning activities. A house search results in major picking up, and then they were found on the highchair tray.

1:00 -- Whew! Phonics time with the 5yo.

1:25 -- The 8yo reads a couple of books to the little boys.

1:48 -- We begin the DVD "Toddler Tunes" for the little boys while the 12yo quizzes the 10yo on his reading questions.

2:01 – School, almost done anyway, is halted for a game of Forbidden Island.

2:40 -- Lunch. Daddy thought he might be home early today, so we waited. But it got too late, and we ate without him. We all got to giggling so much during lunch that we were afraid one child {who shall remain unidentified} might shoot milk out of her nose. J

3:30 -- Two little boys settle in for naps as the 10yo heads to the new house to help Daddy with flooring. The girls finish up what’s left of their school and then read while I get some writing done.

The evening is rounded out with supper, Wednesday night church, a bit of playtime with Daddy, and bedtime preparations including family devotional time.

That's a wrap!

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Smash Books ~ Preserving Memories without the Stress of Scrapbooking

{This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything through this link, it benefits this blog ever-so-slightly. Thanks! J}

I love keeping mementos and keepsakes from events and travels in our life.

Who doesn’t? J

Our love of Smash Book started with the need for a birthday gift for my oldest who was about to turn 14. 

Maybe I'm just a particular sort, but I agonize over gifts because I desperately want my child to enjoy it. I want to give a gift that conveys love, encouragement, creativity, thoughtfulness…. I don’t ask much, do I? J

I'm sure you could come up with a dozen gift ideas for a 14yo, but that day I was drawing a blank. One of the gifts I wanted to get was the same set of gel pens I had just given the 12yo for her birthday, but I couldn’t find them anymore. So, I wandered the aisles of Target, unable to settle on anything...until I saw the scrapbooks.

Still, I hesitated. Scrapbooking has become such a precise, artful endeavor that it has, in fact, repelled me and, to some extent, my daughters. I just don’t have the time or the energy to put such effort into all the papers and embellishments and brads and I-don’t-even-know-what’s for a single photo. Especially with six children! Forget it.

I looked a little further, still debating, and soon the heavens opened and the angels sang! J Smash Books!

They’re made by K&Company and seem to be the much more casual, faster and easier little sister to scrapbooks. The inside front cover says it all ~

“It’s OK. Just smash it in. There’s always room, just like the junk drawer. Nothing’s right. J Nothing’s wrong. L It’s all YOURS. We say glue in the gladness… It’s the smatterings of ordinary, extraordinary life. Messy and beautiful.”

You could go as simple or as wild or as layered as you like. Tickets, lists on smash pads, favorite verses, notes, photos, bits of brochures, ideas, wishes, goals…. Perfect!

I’ve even started a Pinterest board I’m filling with ideas for smash book pages. There’s something about the paper and stickies and colored pens that just makes my heart flitter-flutter. And because I don't have to wait for perfection, it might actually get done.

And as soon as we arrived home from the Bible Bee local test on Saturday, guess what they both got busy with? A new page in the smash book…Bible Bee style. J

Oh, and that birthday gift for the 14yo? Once she figured out what it was and what to do with it, smiles and excitement abounded.

Now I just need one for my birthday. J

Do you do smash books? Any ideas for pages?

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