Monday, July 11, 2011

Borrowed Ideas from the Blogosphere: Part 1

I find that when I wander into the blogosphere, I have to remain very conscious of my time.  It is SO easy to follow one blog to another blog to another blog.  Some days, I follow this strange rabbit trail, and I find all I've really done is waste time, but other times I find a tremendous jewel, and I'm glad I wandered.  It's almost like mining.  ;)

So, here is part 1 of the jewels that I recently discovered and plan to incorporate into my school year this year.  I will do my best to give credit where it is due, which isn't always easy in out in the blogosphere.  If you see that I made a mistake, please comment on this post and I will correct it to the best of my ability.  I do not want to claim credit for other people's idea's nor do I wish to give credit to the wrong blogger.

The first idea is a morning board.  My dear friend had done something similar, on a small scale on her partial wall in her kitchen where she teaches her children.  I too have a partial wall in my kitchen, but it's bigger and my stuff looked so small on it (except the paper Christmas tree, but we won't go there!), I couldn't make it fit what I saw in my head.  Then, I came across this post on a blog.  Her calendar and printables led me to this post.  These things got my gears turning!  This weekend, I made my own morning board. I bought a display board from Hobby Lobby...purple, of course, because that is my favorite color. 

In the upper left is a "Days in School" chart from Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations.  The coolest thing about this chart is that it is color coded to match the place values for Math-U-See!  I laminated her chart and added the color coded pockets.  I printed those from Homeschool Share, the small ones on colored paper, available here.  They print 2 to a page, so that was perfect.  One for the words and one for the numbers for each place value.

Under the "Days in School" chart is the "Make the Date" chart from Carisa at 1+1+1=1.  I printed it twice to have the box on colored paper.  This uses coins to make the date.  Today is the 11th, so there is a dime and a penny to make 11.  This is a fun way to teach the kids the values of each coin.  The pocket beside it holds the extra coins.

Under that is the temperature chart from Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations.  Again, I printed it twice.  I cut out the white thermometer and glued it to the colored paper so it would show up better.  Beside that is a ring of prayer cards from the International Mission Board.  We use these cards during our morning prayer time.  You can find them here.

Front and Center are the Months of the Year and Days of the Week Charts from Carisa at 1+1+1=1.  Days of the week and months of the year are things that Smiley has not gotten the hang of yet, and Little Man has not yet mastered them.
I found this calendar in the dollar bins at Target.  The month was $1.00 and the dates were $1.00.  They also had the month titles for a dollar and the "Today is..., Yesterday was..., Tomorrow will be..." charts, but I don't really need those and the ones from Carisa at 1+1+1=1.

This weather and season chart is from Carisa at 1+1+1=1.  Again this is something that Little Man and Smiley are mastering...knowing each season and what order they come in.  Next to these are two pockets of the extra dates for the calendar.

This is blank still, but in geography, we will study one country a month.  The top chart will have a small print out of the country we are studying and next to it will go the continent it is on.  I will probably just google the country image, but the continent printable will probably be the continents from Continent Hop available at Spell Outloud.  Under is the poster for our Artist and Composer of the semester.  We have always had great intentions regarding (and spent a decent amount of money purchasing supplies to teach) the fine arts.  If it is on the morning board, there is added accountability.  We will probably study Beethoven and Mary Cassatt this semester.
In the bottom right hand corner is another date chart from Carisa at 1+1+1=1.  I just used the bottom half of that printable since the top was similar to the days in school chart.  Under that is a skip counting flip chart from Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations.  I printed these two to a page, laminated, hole punched and put them on a ring.  We will go through one each day.  It goes all the way up to the 12's.  Skip counting helps them memorize multiplication facts.

Stay tuned...tomorrow I'll post another gem I found and have already incorporated from Jolanthe's blog at Homeschool Creations!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Catch Up Day!

I went on vacation last week.  It is rare that the Bru Crew goes on vacation other than to visit family somewhere, and this was no exception.  This vacation was a little bit different though because we went for Vacation Bible School.  I know, I know, the word vacation in there doesn't mean you have to go while you're on vacation, but the church of my youth is so special to me, and in years past (last year being the exception) my own church hasn't done VBS.  This year, with our building destroyed by the tornado, we're still figuring out what we're doing.  So, I went on vacation for Vacation Bible School.  Wait, it get's better...the theme was the beach, and I was at the beach!  How much more literal can you get?  It was a good week of VBS, but my time there was crazy busy, with my afternoons and weekends filled with shopping, swimming, the beach, a trip to Urgent Care for X-rays (Nothing was broken, praise God!), cooking, and lots of eating out.  It was non-stop.  The whole drive home on Monday, I planned this week-what I needed to do when, ha, ha, ha!  The plans of man are not the plans of God.  I was planning another non-stop week with a funeral, swimming lessons (cancelled), school preparation, cleaning, laundry, etc.  Tuesday morning, I was quite sick.  Some of my symptoms started Saturday, but Tuesday, I felt like I'd been run over by a truck and left for dead.  My tonsils hurt, my ear hurt, my head throbbed, I was dizzy, it hurt to breathe, and I couldn't keep food down.  So much for my plans.  I spent all day Tuesday and Wednesday sitting around (because it hurt worse to breathe when I lay) watching TV because my head hurt too badly to read.  By Thursday, I decided I needed to go to the doctor.  I was diagnosed with a viral URI and prescribed medication to treat my worse symptoms.  I still spent the day sitting around, but by late afternoon/evening I felt decent enough to unload and reload the dishwasher and cook dinner, even if I didn't feel well enough to eat it.  Sadly, even though I never ran a fever, I was contagious.  One of the kids got all my symptoms plus a fever, another was queasy and it hurt to breathe and ran a fever, a third had painful breathing and that was it, and the fourth threw up and that was it.  Thankfully, Bru Crew Dad didn't catch it since he's leaving the country on a business trip on Sunday.  Also, thankfully, today I feel almost human again.  It doesn't hurt to breathe!  My head hurts, but doesn't throb, and I successfully ate breakfast!  Looks like I'll be doing laundry today, and trying to play some catch up from what I wanted to get done this week.  Definitely not everything, I'll relapse for sure if I try to do a week's worth of work in one day, but at least enough laundry that Bru Crew Dad can pack for his trip.

Except for the funeral which I had to miss, all the work will wait.  I would really have liked to go to this funeral to be there for this sweet family who lost their son tragically, but I was too sick, and it sounds like there was not enough room for those who attended anyway.  Amazingly enough, despite my throbbing head and inability to read and comprehend words on the page the last couple of days, I could still read and comprehend my Bible.  I kept up with my devotions this week, and God gave me complete peace about resting and taking it easy and about my plans being rejected.  The kids were too sick to make much mess either, so we mostly all sat around watching movies or whatever, and the rest didn't matter.  It amazes me how God can make Himself known and glorified even in our illnesses.  What a mighty God we serve!  Now, I'm off to tackle a portion of that mountain of laundry waiting for me!