Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter Fun

For the past few days Turner has been asking to get out some craft items. That is SO completely rare that I jumped on his request for a bunny craft today.  I chose this little mask so he could practice cutting. 

Turner loves to be extra careful! 
Very happy he cut out the eyes all by himself!

Eli (the usual crafter!) decided he wanted to chop his bunny to bits and return to bouncing in "the bouncy house." 

While things were sort of calm I played a game with Turner. We called the game "stack 'em, don't crack 'em" and they thought it was funny! I'm pretty sure it's not 100% original but it was simple and allowed us to do things like counting by 5s and 10s. 

Earlier in the week we talked about the real reason we celebrate Easter and after I read them an age appropriate version of the story we watched a video about (according to Eli) "Jesus got dead." I think Turner was a little unnerved at the Crucifixion because he's talked about it for days! I don't know if it scared him or if he's confused. I tried to use the most accurate but most age appropriate story! 

It was important to me, though, to show them that there is a reason for celebrating Easter and it's not about baskets of eggs and rabbits! 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Preparing for Deployment

This morning Deacon was up at 5am which felt like 4am because just a day ago, it was! Today just happened to be the day I really needed to go to the grocery store, too. Thankfully, the older boys cooperated in the procurement of the groceries. I may or may not have bribed them with gum...

It got me thinking though: am I really prepared to homeschool during a deployment? I can do deployments and extended separations and I can do homeschool...but, can I do them at the same time? We take school slow. Turner is eager to do "school work" but with two other children under the I-can-sit-for-10-minutes-stage, it's tough to get as in depth as he wants to. Some days Turner will ask me the craziest questions and I want to sit down with him to explain something but it's just not possible. 

He just started reading and blew through all of his BOB books that I was saving for his Easter basket. He wants to read for hours on end, but I just can't sit with him for that long. I do a lot with him during nap time for the younger two, but, sometimes I rely on John to have a conversation with Turner at night while I clean up from the day. 

I am not feeling anxious about the deployment. We've been there, done that, and have the t-shirt. I'm really starting to fear (not) getting it all done. I've gotten used to living in a state of disarray and I'm finally ok with a dirty floor. I'm just worried, that, at the end of the day or school year, Turner will be fulfilled. I know, in my heart, that his cup will be full because staying home is right for him. 

I've been simplifying life so I can focus on being there for the boys as they need me. I signed off of Facebook and I've been leaving my phone and laptop in my room during the day so I'm not tempted to respond to a text or just check Pinterest. I've started to make the same meals during the week (i.e. Monday: roasted chicken and veggies, Friday: Pizza, Sunday: spaghetti and meatballs). I think these few changes will help me stay on my toes in regards to the house and general "cleanliness" of things. A house of boys and a new sand box out back does not lend it self to cleanliness! My thought for streamlining the day was that we could do more with school activities. There isn't too much more "work" I'd add to the day, but, rather, games and other fun things. 

In the end, I know it will all work out. With just days until Daddy leaves, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed at the thought of everything, though. I always end up surprising myself at the strength I can summon while single parenting but it doesn't shake the doubt I feel in the beginning! 

Thursday, March 8, 2012


A few weeks ago Turner really expressed interest in learning to read. He was constantly asking what something said, or asking how to read a word on a sign. I had previously started sight words with him but I just didn't feel like it was a good beginning point so we stopped. I wanted Turner to be comfortable and, being a very strict "rule" kid, starting with "reading" sight words just seemed an un-natural beginning.

It seems like I searched forever to find the right "method" to teach reading. We read aloud multiple times daily but things just didn't click for him. He needs to have all the "rules" in place first. After hearing the name of the book several times, I decided on Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. I have to admit, I thought it sounded hokey! After reading blog post after blog post of veteran homeschoolers using this book I had to see for myself. 

The first lessons are quite cut and dry so, while they were easy to get through, I often had to give incentive (i.e. using my phone to play a math game or something similar when the lesson was complete). After a few lessons, some of the sounds became words and his eyes lit up! Around lesson 16, Turner read his first sentence and it was like turning a key to unlock a door. He was so excited we went on to do lessons 17-20 RIGHT THEN. 

I absolutely LOVE the lesson book and will absolutely use it to teach the younger two how to read. 

Turner couldn't get enough of all this sounding out words thing so I decided to give him his first set of BOB books (that I was saving to put in his Easter basket). He just adored having his own books and was over the moon to read them to anyone that would listen! 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

First Week Post Christmas

Schooling through the holiday season proved more difficult a task than I had expected! Not that the kids need much "formal" school...

I really couldn't make the time to blog about the things we did from November through December because I was too busy crafting! This year I think my deadline for making gifts is the first of November. After that, NO crafting! 

This was our first week back and next week we'll be having a do-over. We were bombarded by a virus for 11 days. It was absolutely terrible and, to add fuel to the fire, my washer wasn't working! (It was later found to have a cloth wipe wrapped around the pump.) 

Things just piled up and sitting down for school things went to the back burner. We did manage to get a few things done before even I fell ill to this super virus. 

This week I continued introducing Eli to letters, but now I'll be going about it a little differently. Instead of the alphabet in order, we'll be working on the easiest letters to write first. He is very interested in writing so I thought I'd let him give it a whirl! 

Eli is always so dirty! It was only 8 or 9am and his hand is filthy!
 Turner started to work on short vowels. I'm trying to get him to finish really recognizing sounds as he becomes more interested in reading. 
There are so many great FREE resources out there! This vowel set came from Homeschool Creations.
 Over the holidays, Turner found this human body kit in a catalog and ended up getting it from his grandparents for Christmas! I had already planned on doing a human body unit for January so it worked out perfect! Even though the boys are very young, they were incredibly intrigued by the squishy body and really enjoyed taking it apart and putting the parts on the "organ-izer."
Every time they would take a different part out, Eli would hem and haw and say "Ah ha! I see how that goes!"

One of the hi-lights: finding the brain inside the skull!
 Deacon is proving to be incredibly...umm...busy these days! I'm finding it hard to occupy him while the boys do sit-down work. Most days, I have to put him in his high chair or I'm likely to find him doing something like this:

Apparently, he didn't like the way the calendar board looked...
 I'm really hoping for a better week coming up!

Monday, January 2, 2012

We're Back!

After a longer break than intended, we're back at it! The kids have been asking to do "work" for weeks (months?). I was just so busy with holiday fun that I didn't think they'd miss the routine of the day. WRONG! They totally missed our little daily rhythm! 

Apparently, even Deacon missed school. I couldn't find him one day and found him here with paper and crayons! It was the cutest scene. 

This little opinionated, temperamental, dude loves (LOVES) shoes. Everyday he
must have something on his feet -even with his PJs!