Sunday, December 2, 2012


When T-Man was in public school, he didn't like reading.  He did it....but he didn't like it.  After about 6 months of homeschooling, he loves it.  He feels no pressure to be the fastest or in his case, bad because he was one of the slowest readers in his class.  He is just reading.  Period!

He reads every day and some days his "assignment" is to read to Muffin.  She picked her favorite books, which were VERY girly, and he read them to her.  I just love seeing my children reading together.

One last thing....Muffin is wearing one of her favorite dance costumes in these pictures.  That girl would live in dance costumes if I let her.  :)

Our Nature Journals

I have seen "Nature Journals" around the homeschooling world but never tried them because I wasn't sure my kids would like them.  Boy, was I W.R.O.N.G.!  I found these great nature journal sheets at Living and Learning At Home blog.

We walked around our neighborhood looking at trees, grass, leaves, the beautiful mountains that we live so close too, etc.  After we talked about everything we saw, we came home and started drawing.  This was a great writing exercise for T-Man and Muffin dictated to me.  I love writing word for word what she says because I know one day she will look back at these and laugh. 

T-Man wrote about leaves changing color and trees losing them.

Muffin wrote about the grass turning brown, Halloween and colorful leaves.

We plan to do these once a week and by the end of each school year, they will each have a beautiful book of nature journal pages.

(We did this in October, just getting around to posting it now.)

Monopoly anyone....?

I have been wanting T-Man to learn how to play Monopoly for several reasons.  My main reason is for him to  be the banker and practice giving back change.  So we went to a second-hand store in our area and picked one up for just a few bucks!  Can't beat that!!

He was so excited that he got a little C.R.A.Z.Y. on me.  :)

 He was having so much fun....(don't you love his jeans and pajama shirt look??  That's the way we roll!)

I was starting to feel a little bad for the kid when he got "put in jail" 3 times in a row.  He just couldn't get away from the "Go To Jail" space.  He was in good spirits about it though.

He lasted about 1 1/2 hours and he learned how to give back the correct amount of change!  Lesson Monopoly....SUCCESSFUL!  :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Our Co-Op

We are apart of a homeschooling co-op and we love it!!  We have a great group of moms and kids. Here are some of the fun activities/lessons we have done:

We love the cultural cases from BYU.  They have tons of artifacts that the kids get to hold.  The kids love them!  We really are learning so much about different cultural's from around the world.

 We went to Tracy Aviary and watched a cool bird show.  It was even interactive too!  In the next pictures, some of the kids got to hold one of the birds on their arms.  This bird is a Red Crested Turaco and his name is Kambo.

One of the other co-op moms and myself got to have a tucan jump across our arms.  :)  So much fun!  (The whole black and white shirts thing....totally coincidental!  We didn't even know the other mom.)

We always take a lunch in between the 2 classes we have on co-op day!  What's more fun than eating on a trampoline?!?

For Creative Writing, they wrote their own comic books using Ed Emberley's Thumbprint Book as their characters.  We then turned them into books.  It is so fun watching a child use their imagination .

The younger kids are learning their letters and sounds.

Here they are making the shape of the letter with their bodies.

We are all having tons of fun and we love learning together.  Lots more to come on the co-op.  

Mom, what can I do??

When T-man asked me this brain went blank.  For some reason, when either one of my children ask me this question, I can't remember all of the cool activities that I have seen in the past.  It's like we are still trying to get our creativity back that was squashed in a classroom.

Luckily T-man came up with the idea of making his own play doh and creating something with it.  So I found the easiest recipe and let him loose!  He got everything out and did most of it by himself.  Can I just say that I love that!?!  It is so fun to see their ability to do more on their own come out.

Months ago, he decided to build a house out of jumbo popsicle sticks.  I suggested that he cover that with the play doh and then paint it when it dries.  Hours of entertainment right there!  :)

Next time I will take better pictures but here are the ones I got.....

Working on the roof:

 I asked him if he was having fun and he said, "Oh yeah!  This is the kind of stuff I like."  Hopefully tonight he will be able to paint it and I will post about it once he finishes it.  I love being a part of his activities.  Just another reason that I am so grateful we home school.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


We are a part of a homeschooling co-op and we LOVE it!  There are 5 families and we all get along fabulously.  We focus on History, Science, Art, Creative Writing and Crafts.

Recently, for Science, one of the moms did volcanoes, earthquakes, and tornadoes as the lesson one day.  T-Man couldn't have been happier.  He built his own volcano to set off for the lesson.  We used salt dough and formed it around a small plastic cup.  He set it in the sun to dry for a day.  After it was mostly dry, he painted it.  He did the painting all by himself and he did a great job!  

I love the snow he put on the top.  The alligator is in the water along with the elephant.  He put a couple rocks in there too.  I love how much thought he put in to it.


The best part about it was he had fun doing it.  He was self-motivated and excited to finish this project.  This makes a homeschooling mama very happy!  :)

Leaves anyone??

We don't have a lot of trees in our yard but we do have a few.  The leaves have really been falling the past few days.  T-Man decided that he wanted to go rake them up.  Well, I have absolutely NO problem with that!  What kind of mother would I be if I objected to him cleaning something up?  (Hehe)

So out he goes with the rake.  A few minutes later, Muffin goes out to help.  Every few minutes, I am checking out the window to see that they are still getting along and to my surprise, they are working together to pick up the leaves!  I am ecstatic! Working together nicely and cleaning up?  Wow....what a fantastic morning!

Next time I look out the window, about 5 minutes later, they are both on the tramp with the container of leaves.  Uh-oh......what do I do?  Do I tell them NO and have them dump them in the garbage can?  (I seriously considered this one.)  Do I let them make a mess with them and have fun doing it?  Yep, I chose the 2nd one.  I grabbed my camera and got some shots of them having fun after their hard work.....even if it means the leaves will eventually end back up on the grass.

Thinking about going crazy with the leaves......

Still thinking....

And it has started!

There you go....let LOOSE!

Today's lesson:

For T-Man, it was WORK (which he hates to do).  He did most of the raking and did great at it.  The best part is that I didn't even have to tell him to start it in the first place....or finish it!  :)  This makes me one happy mama!

For Muffin, it was working with T-Man and obeying.  She is a very independent squirt and has a hard time dealing with someone telling her what to do.

And then of course we can't forget about the most important lesson of all!  PLAYING!  They are kids after all!  :)