Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Monday and much of Tuesday were a wash as I was down with a cold that doesn't seem to want to leave me. However, we discovered something neat when Catherine and I were discussing chores.

At DLTK's Crafts for Kids they have a customizable and printable chore chart. You can pick a picture for the chart, fonts, labels for each row and column and the colour of the font. Very cool and it has my kids excited about having some regular responsibilities. I'm not really keen on the whole chore thing or chore charts usually as I expect the kids to pitch in when I ask and I don't like reward chart ideas. But they seemed eager for a more structured approach and view the chart not as a reward method but more as an organizing tool. We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Weekend

My daughter went to her grandmother's early Saturday so we had a little time playing together (her, Harry and I) with a new gear set I mentioned we bought in an earlier post. We already have one but this second one is quite a bit more complex and requires more planning before you can get the gears working. Here's a picture (from the box, my camera's batteries are dead)...

After Catherine left it was on to the Thomas trains for Harry. I helped him set up a track and then went off to do my own things as he played. When he got bored of those he went in my room and dragged out an old book shelf (just the plank, not a case) and leaned it up on the edge of the couch. Since he'd decided to wear pants for once, his butt was suffinciently friction free for some sliding. When the plank was no longer interesting as a slide and put it on the floor, put a couple of blocks under it, put a toy on one end and jumped on the other to send the toy flying. This was major fun.

A few hours after I'd left him alone he grabbed a pile of new Franklin the Turtle books, grabbed me and headed for the couch. We read for quite awhile. He's a pretty active kid but he loves to snuggle in and get read too.

Today has been much the same.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Shopping cheap.

We started off the morning with a trip to the local thrift store with the kids. My sister had tipped me off about algebra math software she's seen there so I thought I'd go pick it up. Unfortunately, I already had the software and it's a dismal and boring drill-type program that no kid should have to endure.

We looked around and I found a collection of new looking Franklin and Little Critter books, a Spill and Spell game and a set of plastic building gears. Very cool stuff. Thrift stores and yard sales account for about 80% of our learning supplies and they're why I get a goofy grin whenever somebody assumes we must be well off to be able to afford to homeschool. Add in the workbooks I picked up at an army surplus store and this month's homeschooling expenses total about $8.

After that it was a doctor visit and grocery shopping. Sounds like pretty ordinary stuff but there were many interesting conversations about how a flu vaccine would work and the math and merits of stocking up on sale items.

At home Harry played with his Thomas wooden trains. They're fantastic toys and putting faces on wooden trains was a brilliant idea. It gives a toy that encourages building and organization a social aspect that dinky cars don't have. It's like dolls on wheels and Harry will spend hours retelling stories from the DVD's or reworking those stories or telling whole new ones.

Catherine went right to her drawing. I was moving a large mirror and had gotten the moved-from part done but not the moved-to part so it was leaning up against a living room wall. Catherine sat down and worked on self-portraits. I wish my scanner hadn't died because then I could show off what a great sense of perspective she has. From there she went on to drawing geometric patterns and colouring them in.

The rest of the evening has been chats, a few sibling spats and cartoons.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The wednesday after the 14th

I was out the door early today because tommorrow I go to my Christian history/Bible/theology/philosophy/kitchen sink course and I'm staying late to help one of my coursemates set up a new-to-her computer system. She was finding her computer a little slow and very low on space. It's because she running a pentium with a 2 gig HD thats so old none of the accesories (moniter, mouse or keyboard) will work on the PIII I gave her. So, why I was out early...Our local army surplus store has a ton of 15 inch monitors for $2. So I picked up one, a new optical mouse and and scrounged up an old keyboard from my basement. $20 and she has a new computer that will do more then she needs.



Well, we cleaned up the living room and found some toys and craft supplies to donate to my sister's daycare. Catherine played on for a bit and Harry and I read together.

That's about it. Yes, I know it's rather pathetic but I also know the cleaning we did is going to lead to some stuff later. Old painting projects were rediscovered and room was cleared for some creative play. Hopefully.

You know what? I don't think the people in my life that are unsure about our homeschooling are going to find this reassuring. :)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

November 14

Harry was up and running around pretty early but Catherine didn't roll out of bed until close to 10am. It was a late bedtime last night because she and I were playing cribbage, the first time she'd played it. She still works on her fingers when she's adding and subtracting so I thought cribbage would be good for getting quick addition skills off her hands and into her head. This morning we had another game. She beat me both times of course.

Other then that...Boy, not much. It was a rainy, blustery day so everyone was feeling sort of lazy. We watched TV, read a book (Digimon...ugh) and did a little bit of cleaning.

First post!

I'm now on my third blog! This is quite a departure from my other two blogs as this one does not have comic books as a central theme, but this is one I really needed.

I'm a housewife and homeschooling mom of two, Catherine (8) and Harry (4). We're actually unschoolers and in our house that means little in the way of formal or conventional education. I plan to post stuff from our day together for a few reasons.

First, to motivate myself. One of my other blogs is about my goal to become a comic book penciler. Since I started it I've become more focused on that goal, practiced more, become more determined. I want some of that focus and determination in our homeschooling. We're drifting around lately, not really doing much of anything and it's not a situation that's making anyone happy. So there's that.

Second, so friends and family can check up on us. Many in the family are enthusiatic about what we're doing and would probably enjoy peeking in on our activities. Others aren't so sure of homeschooling and would probably appreciate a reasurring window into our days. I should make it clear however that even those who feel uncertain about homeschooling in general have been unfailingly supportive of our choice. they trust us to raise our children well and that's a great gift that not all homeschooling families have.

Third, to give other homeschoolers an idea of an unschooling or homeschooling day. When I was first considering homeschooling the most valuable information always seemed to be accounts of the nuts and bolts of home education from other homeschoolers. The advice, methods and curricullum all paled beside the usefullness of getting a glimpse into how it actually happened. I gained a lot from those parents that were generous enough to write about their experiences so it's my turn to share.