Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY... June 29, 2010

Outside my window...night sky.

I am thinking...that ice cream is definitely not on my diet.

I am thankful....that we are so far out of that diaper, bottle, totally reliant, kid stage.                                                      

I am wearing...striped pj pants, t-shirt & no shoes!

I am remembering....how nice summers are.

I am going....to go see Eclipse next week with my husband!

Some plans for the rest of the week...Lulu has an orthodontist appointment tomorrow,  my van windshield gets repaired tomorrow, and some personal errands. A BBQ with friends on Saturday.

I am currently reading... Laying Down the Rails by Sonya Shafer, The Bible, The Original Homeschooling Series, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.

I am hoping....to get remotivated to exercise.  This is a vicious circle I’m on.

On my mind...not much tonight.  I’m pretty relaxed!

From the learning room....not getting as much done as I’d hope for the summer. We’re still reading some  history. The kids are working on math, reading and handwriting as we have time.

Noticing that...I got a little sunburned today at the pool.

I am creating...a moving to-do-list and notebook.

I am hearing...Deadliest Catch on TV.

From the kitchen...we had crockpot swiss steak, green beans and mashed potatoes.

Around the house...boxes, boxes everywhere!

One of my favorite things...pedicures.

From my picture journal…..another one of my cat, Dallas. I know he looks like road kill, but he is only sleeping on the rocks.


Til tomorrow~


I’m Back….Kind of….

Well our company has been long gone, but I extended my staycation a little while longer.  We’ve been having some fun, field trips, swimming and doing some work, packing & cleaning.

I’ve also been without internet for a few days, and so I’m “borrowing” my mom’s to do some catch up.

So, I’ll be back to update as soon as things slow down a little around here!

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On Stay-Cation

I've not posted in a couple of days, due to the fact that we have family visiting. So I thought I'd post an official, "I'm on Stay-Cation" message! I'll be back next weekend to update on the fun stuff we've been doing!


Weekly Wrap-Up #10


Monday and Tuesday of this last week were fairly uneventful. I can’t say the same for the rest of the week, however. 

I shuttled Lulu back and forth most of the week to our church’s middle school day camp. They took trips to a water park, Boomers, and Yosemite National Park, and on the last night had a sleepover at a local lake.

On Wednesday, we had family from San Diego arrive to visit for part of this week and they will return on Monday to spend all of next week with us.  I also was babysitting my niece on Wednesday and Thursday.  We counted a total of 9 kids here at one point on Thursday, and they were all having a ball!

On Friday, I loaded up my boxes of used curriculum I had cleaned out and headed to a homeschool curriculum sale that is held once a year, about 40 minutes from where I live.  Last year was the first year I attended to purchase items and this was the first year I set up a table to sell.  I managed to sell quite a few things and what I had left I donated at the end of the sale to the support group. So no more boxes of curriculum sitting around!  I was also very pleased with my finds for the day.

I picked up a complete set of Math-U-See Algebra I for Lulu. For free!!! The only hitch is that some of the student pages have been written on, but I figured I can work around that little issue.  Especially since it saved me from spending $85 on a new set!  I was also able to purchase a complete set of Math-U-See Stewardship from the same vendor for $5.  This set came with two student books, so I’ll have an extra for later.  I don’t plan on using this until Lulu is done with Algebra I, but for the price, I could handle purchasing it early. $80 saved.

I bought Tramp for the Lord by Corrie Ten Boom for myself. I had a copy but when I went to read it I discovered some pages had been chewed up. Something I didn’t notice when I had originally purchased it. 

The other items I found were:

Bully for You, Teddy Roosevelt by Jean Fritz (.50 cents)

Desert Giant (.25 cents)

Sam Houston, the Tallest Texan (a Landmark book, $1.oo)

Addition and Subtraction facts sing-along cassette with activity book (for Conman, who needs to work on these. $1.00)

Some Body board game (I’ve been wanting this, but it was too expensive, around $23.00.  I bought a brand new one for $3.00)

The Fourth Anti-Coloring Book (.50 cents)

Ida Clips-a building set for the boys. ($1.00)

I think that was everything. I even managed to make a little money!

Hope your week was great. Check out what others have been up to at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers Weekly-Wrap Up.

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How Exactly Do I Homeschool Their Hearts?

Hmmm….Interesting question.  Not one I’ve been asked by other people, but one I’ve been asking myself lately. 

In my Charlotte Mason planner, there is a section where parents rate which subjects are most important to them.  My husband and I rated these together and agreed immediately upon which were the most important.  The subjects were  not math or reading, both of which I feel are absolutely necessary. The top three were Bible, life skills and character.  This got me thinking….

If my kids can do algebraic equations, read at college level and recite every president in the exact order, what does that matter if their hearts are not right?  This is where homeschooling their hearts fits in.

I want my children to be able to take the head knowledge they acquire concerning the Bible or character traits and apply it as heart knowledge.  It’s not enough for them to be able to parrot back to me the facts I’m teaching them. I want them to take the Bible verses and lessons Jesus taught and actually live them.  I want them to stop and think “What would Jesus do?” before a word is spoken or an action taken.  I want them to understand what character traits are desirable to possess and use them to minister to others.  I want them to think of others before themselves.  This is homeschooling the heart.

If I see an incident that requires correction, I need to stop what’s going on in our other lessons and use that as a teachable character moment.  If I receive and inappropriate response from the kids, I need to stop what we were involved in and immediately remedy it.  There are times I wonder if I need to halt planned lessons altogether and focus strictly on ways of the will and character.  I know I need to teach to their hearts more than I do.

It’s not just about filling their heads with “stuff.”  It’s more about teaching them to learn on their own.  It’s teaching them how to open a book to find facts they are interested in. It’s about encouraging hobbies and learning how to search out information on a subject they are interested in. If they know how to learn, they will be fine in the future. It’s homeschooling their  hearts.

Life skills are taught as the opportunity arises.  My daughter takes it upon herself to try out a new recipe for breakfast one morning and decides to iron her own shorts.  Blakester helps his uncle stack firewood (for pay!).  Conman helps with Sunday house cleaning.  I’m constantly on the lookout for new skills to teach them.  It’s about preparing them for their future as responsible adults.  It’s homeschooling their hearts.

After thinking on this, I really feel I need to spend time this summer focusing more on their hearts.  Slowing down and taking the time to mold that character and teach them how to deal with their wills is definitely on the roster for this season.

Please feel free to leave a comment and share with me- How do you homeschool your children’s hearts?

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Windows Live Writer

Jolanthe over at Homeschool Creations posted on how easy the Windows Live Writer was  for blogging, so I thought I’d try it.  You see, I noticed it on my tools drop down menu, but had no idea what it was!  So, this is just a test post. Just me playing around trying to figure this out.  I’ll let you know how it goes….

I’ve also reached my 100th (actually this will make my 102nd) post.  Who knew I would last this long?  Thanks so much to all of you that follow, subscribe to and read my blog!

Have a wonderful evening.

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Planning Your Charlotte Mason Education Review

I've been using Planning Your Charlotte Mason Education , published by Simply Charlotte Mason, to plan our lessons for next year.

This set consists of a DVD with a companion notebook. You have a choice of either a printed, spiral-bound book or a downloadable e-book. I chose to download and print the e-book so I could make additions to my notebook if necessary. As a side note, if one purchases the spiral book,
Simply Charlotte Mason includes a pdf. file of the charts and forms that one can print off as needed.

The DVD is of a live seminar that Sonya Shafer taught on planning the Charlotte Mason way. She walks you through the 5 steps of planning:

  1. Big Picture
  2. Your Year
  3. Your Term
  4. Your Week
  5. Your Day

At certain points, she has you pause the DVD to complete a step. It's as if Sonya is in your living room, helping you plan! I've discovered how beneficial it is to go through each step, rather than just leaping to the end result.

Bear in mind, this is not a lesson in exactly what to teach and when to teach it. It deals with taking what you want to teach and scheduling it in a way to fit your family. Sonya gives some excellent tips on scheduling, such as what subjects can be done together with all grade levels.

Various lists are included in the notebook to aid in the planning process: possible topics, artists, handicraft ideas, life skills, composers, Shakespeare plays and history rotations.

Sonya has you put your homeschooling goals on paper and rate which subjects are most important to you, for your homeschool. She includes a description of CM methods and a short how-to on implementing them.

A few pages of ideas of how to school with preschoolers in the mix is pretty handy for those with little ones.

The notebook is rounded out by tons of charts, worksheets, and examples, including schedules from Ms. Mason's schools.

I have been able to complete my plans for next year one step at a time, and am now prepared to input my daily schedule for each child into my computer, since they like to have the printed checklist to work off of.

I have tried other teacher planners, homeschool planners, forms, etc., and this is the most thorough planning guide I've come across. I will continue to use it through the remainder of my homeschooling years.


Simple Womans Daybook

FOR TODAY... June 7, 2010

Outside my window...dusk.

I am thinking...I'd like another ice cream sandwich.

I am thankful....that my husband and I still get along after almost 18 years of marriage.

I am wearing...jeans, orangy colored shirt & bare feet.

I am remembering....how much fun babies are.

I am going....to start boxing up stuff this week for our move.

Some plans for the rest of the week...Lulu is at church day camp this weeek, company coming for a visit on Wednesday, working on my to do list, used curriculum sale on Friday.

I am currently reading... Laying Down the Rails by Sonya Shafer, The Bible, The Original Homeschooling Series, New Moon.

I am hoping....Uh-oh-I just noticed that last week I wrote I was hoping Conman is getting sick. It was supposed to read I am hoping he is not getting sick! This week I'm hoping that I'm not feeling as tired as I did today.

On my mind...wondering what to plan for my menu while guests are here.

From the learning room....math, handwriting & reading daily. Trying to finish the Transcontinental Railroad so we can start on Texas history.

Noticing that...it's harder to get the kids to bed on time with it staying light so late. They want to keep playing.

I am creating...not much right now.

I am hearing...the kids and my niece playing cards in the kitchen and being goofy.

From the kitchen...we had chicken & artichoke casserole, mixed colored rice & cooked carrots.

Around the house...we had potential buyers come look at the house today. Here's hoping....

One of my favorite things...Cheesecake Factory cheesecake.

Til tomorrow~


Mission San Diego Field Trip

I'd been wanting to take the kids to visit a mission as part of their California history lesson, so we took advantage of our time last weekend in San Diego and toured Mission San Diego de Alcala, the first mission established in California.
This was not the original location of the mission. The building has also been rebuilt, as the majority of the missions were destroyed or damaged in various ways. It is currently a working mission, meaning Mass was being held during our Sunday morning visit. It was wonderful to hear "America, the Beautiful" being sung during our trek through the garden area.

Along the front of the mission are several of these statues representing each California mission. I don't know if you can see it in the photo, but there is a small mission sitting on the priest and the name & date of the mission are inscribed on him.
The garden has several statues spread around it. Here is Blakester sitting by Father Junipero Serra, the founder of the mission.

There were two crosses that were made from bricks taken from the original mission building on this site.

The bells are still rung for mass and rang while we were there. It's pretty startling to here. The largest bell on the bottom left weighs 1,2oo pounds.

As you walk out and around the mission there are different areas that explain and demonstrate the history of the mission.

Conman was excited that the first California mayor was killed on this exact spot. We weren't sure what he meant until we read the plaque ourselves.

This is a replica of the houses the indians lived in when the Spanish arrived.

Around the back of the mission is a large excavation site. Artifacts are still being found that date back to the early 1800's. This is a view of a brick floor of the friary that was uncovered. There is a small museum that houses the found artifacts.
One of the displays shows how the roof beams have been restored.

This is the chapel and the sign that explains the history of it.

There is a small gift shop on site and a donation is suggested for entrance.

Mission San Diego is a beautiful piece of California history, and I am not able to do it complete justice with my post.

Just For Fun....


Is God a Bad Word?

I'm not going to rant very long about this video. It's just absurd. It seems anything to do with God, Jesus or Christian religion is akin to vulgarity or swearing.

Oops, wait a minute, that's not true. I think it's treated worse than those things. I can walk around almost anywhere and see swear words and vulgarity displayed prominently on billboards, t-shirts, tv ads....and the school board is worried about these posters offending students..... geez...

Pretty soon the kids won't even be allowed to learn American history.


Wednesday Nature Study

While we were in San Diego this past weekend, we visited Mission San Diego de Alcala. The gardens there were absolutely beautiful. I snapped a few pics of some flowers and thought I'd share them for our nature study today.

These are some amazingly large roses.


This is called a kafir lily from South Africa.

This crazy-looking thing is a Christmas cactus. It's growing intertwined with the tree.

A pomegranate flower.

Bird of Paradise in full bloom.

African daisy.

There were so many more it was difficult to capture all of them. I'm planning on posting our field trip details soon.

Til' next time~


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